Telecom Services

Telecom: South Africa's Cell-C Transitions Its Customers To MTN

It does feel like it's the beginning of the end for mobile network operator Cell-C, as it starts transitioning its customers on to the MTN network.  This process comes as the mobile operator prepares to switch off its radio access network.

The migrating of contract and broadband customers is expected to be concluded within the next two months, while prepaid customers' phased transition will be confirmed in due course.

This whole procedure is part of Cell C's three-year turnaround strategy, which allows the company to provide network services to customers through roaming agreements with mobile networks that they have partnered with. It is also a phased decommissioning of its towers, with Cell-C effectively becoming a wholesale buyer of network capacity and infrastructure services.

"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," explained Cell C CEO Douglas Craigie Stevenson.
"Our strategic vision is to differentiate ourselves by focusing on innovative products and services without being owners of capital-intensive infrastructure."

All of this stems from Cell-C financial problems, their liabilities and debts have exceeded the company's assets, and they have not been able to meet their debt obligations on time. The company is now insolvent.

The mobile operator says the next step is for all its contract and broadband customers to activate the data roaming manually on their phones or through a computer if using a router to lessen service and connectivity disruptions. In the case of Apple users, their data roaming will be activated automatically.

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