Cell C (Pty) Ltd’s network was expanded to a total of more than 3000 base stations. It carries over 87% of its traffic on its own network, covering 92% of the population and 35% of the geographic area. Cell C has exceeded its final licence requirements of 60% population coverage and 8% geographic coverage, well ahead of the required deadline.

In 2010 Cell C became the first South African operator to roll out an HSPA+ network in the 900MHz.

900MHz compared to the traditional 2100MHz offers the following benefits:

  • A single HSPA+ transmitter can cover 3-5 more area than a UMTS 2100 site
  • Indoor coverage with HSPA+ allows for 10-20 decibels more gain than UMTS 2100, i.e. much better coverage within buildings
  •  HSPA+ allows for more than double the throughput at the cell edge than UMTS 2100
  • HSPA+ provides 1Mbps throughput at the same distance as GS900 voice and provides wider area coverage for voice than GSM 900
  •  While HSPA+ delivers area coverage, HSPA+ 2100 deliveries capacity where needed

These characteristics coupled with the fact that Cell C’s network is all IP and uses world-leading software-defined radio technology allows the company to provide high-speed broadband services to areas that have previously been without access to the Internet.

To date, Cell C has more than 1900 HSPA+ sites on air. The network covered 63% of the population by July 2011.

Cell C will continue to launch its HSPA+ network, city by city, until nationwide coverage is achieved and aims to cover 97% of the population by July 2011.

In November 2011, FibreCo Telecommunications (“FibreCo”) announced a partnership between Cell C, Internet Solutions and Convergence Partners to develop an open-access long-haul terrestrial fibre optic broadband network as an answer to the need for national transmission infrastructure to meet the nation’s aspirations for world-class broadband connectivity.


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