Cell C has begun the migration of its customers to MTN South Africa’s radio access network infrastructure as it moves to shut down its own access network to save costs.
The move, which is happening under an “expanded” roaming agreement between the parties, comes as Cell C looks to reduce capital expenditure and ease the pressure on its balance sheet, which, ahead of a planned recapitalisation, remains a noose around its neck.
“Cell C is making progress with the implementation of its network strategy as part of its turnaround strategy, aimed at improving overall operational efficiency and adopting an operating model to partner with the best-of-breed on both infrastructure and services,” the company said in a statement on Wednesday.
“The migration process has started with contract and broadband customers and is due to be completed in the next two months. The phased transition of prepaid customers will be confirmed in due course,” it said.
Cell C will decommission its own towers in a “phased approach”.
“Our strategic vision is to differentiate ourselves by focusing on innovative products and services without being owners of capital-intensive infrastructure. This creates more flexibility and capacity to deliver the right quality of service to our current and future customers,” said Cell C CEO Douglas Craigie Stevenson in the statement.
“In response to a vastly changed business environment, the adoption of the network roaming model will promote more resourceful use of the telecommunications infrastructure capacity in the country, improve the overall network connectivity and provide Cell C customers with a better customer experience.”
To minimise any impact on service, Cell C said its customers should activate “data roaming” manually in their phone settings. “If you have a router you will need to do this via a PC,” it said. Apple device users are not impacted. — © 2020 NewsCentral Media