South African operator Cell C announced it has entered into a far-reaching roaming agreement with MTN in order to complement Cell C’s own mobile network. The agreement will see MTN providing both 3G and 4G services to Cell C in areas where Cell C has chosen to purchase coverage rather than self-build, mainly outside of the main metro areas. The operator said the introduction of 4G roaming will benefit customers significantly. Cell C has used the Vodacom network for roaming since its launch in 2001, but this has been limited to 2G and 3G networks. Cell C said it completed a comprehensive assessment of the wholesale offerings available in the market and based on MTN’s significant network investment in recent times, concluded that MTN offered the best solution for its business going forward. Cell C CEO Jose Dos Santos said that ensuring an enhanced customer experience was the primary focus of executing the roaming agreement with MTN.
The roll-out of this “multi-billion-rand long-term” roaming agreement will begin soon, the company said. The deal includes a seamless handover for customers, so when a customer is on a call that switches from a Cell C tower to a MTN tower, the call will not be dropped. Cell C’s network coverage is at 99 percent 2G population coverage, 96 percent 3G and 33 percent 4G. With the roaming deal, 4G coverage will increase to 80 percent. – Telecom Paper