South Africa’s fourth-largest mobile network, Cell C, has announced the commencement of its turnaround strategy, which sees the mobile operator shut down its physical radio network infrastructure and migrating its subscribers to its competitor networks.
Cell C recently released its latest financial results ending December 2020, where it was revealed that the telecom company ran an R5.5 billion (US$389.2 million) loss before tax. The company had also announced that it had an R2.1 billion (US$148.6 million) profit in the second half, which the company attributed to the reduction of profitable customers and reduction in operating costs. So far, Cell C has migrated its prepaid customers in two provinces to the MTN network. The majority of its contract and broadband customers are now roaming on the Vodacom network.
Cell C has declared that it is impossible to compete with Vodacom and MTN’s network investments, so it has decided to give Cell C subscribers the benefits of the well-established networks instead of partnering with the competitors. The gradual migration will allow Cell C to progressively turn off its towers without customers’ cellular connectivity being impacted.
The mobile operator has confirmed that it has completed the migration of prepaid customers in the Eastern Cape province and Free State. The telecom company has also begun migrating prepaid customers in some parts of the Kwa-Zulu Natal, Northern Cape, and Western Cape. In recent months, Cell C’s contract customers have complained of connectivity issues caused by the migration. The operator has assured customers that it will continue monitoring and resolving any connectivity challenges that its customers are experiencing due to the migration.