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|Headquarters||Randburg, South Africa|
|Products||GSM-related products and services
3G/Internet service provider
Cell C (Pty) Ltd, a South African mobile company, offers consumers a wide range of prepaid, hybrid and postpaid products and services, including voice, data and messaging services. With its focus on affordable access, Cell C is the only mobile operator in South Africa to offer customers Free Facebook through Free Basics by Facebook; and for a capped monthly fee of R12, customers have unlimited WhatsApp usage. Cell C was also the first in the country to commercially launch Wi-Fi Calling, a service which has completely transformed the travelling experience for South Africans.
Cell C is wholly owned by 3C Telecommunications, which in turn is 60% owned by Oger Telecom South Africa, a division of Saudi Oger; 25% owned by CellSAf, (a Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment entity which represents over 30 black empowerment companies and trusts), and 15% by Lanun Securities SA (Lanun is a wholly owned subsidiary of Saudi Oger Ltd). On 30 December 2015, the Boards of Cell C and 3C Telecommunications accepted the share subscription offers from Blue Label Telecoms and Cell C Management and staff for 35% and 30% respectively. Current Cell C shareholder 3C Telecommunications will also subscribe for a number of shares to hold about 35% of the total issued shares at the close of the transaction.
Cell C’s range of products and services are supported by its highly advanced network which offers 2G, 3G and LTE services and covers 98% of South Africa’s population; the company has a roaming agreement in place with Vodacom to provide 2G and 3G services to customers in outlying areas. Cell C continuously invests in expanding and upgrading its network so as to offer its customers the latest technologies. In 2015, Cell C announced an investment of approximately R8 billion to rollout LTE across the country. The company has already launched its LTE services in Gauteng, Kwa-Zulu Natal and the Western Cape and will continue its rollout across other metros. Cell C started the rollout of LTE-Advanced and has actively tested LTE-U (LTE in unlicensed spectrum) showing download speeds of 600Mbit/s. The Cell C network operates on three key bands 900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz.
Cell C has almost tripled its customer base since 2012, acting as disruptor and pushing for regulatory changes such as lower and asymmetrical mobile termination rates. A recent study commissioned by the South African National Treasury and conducted by the University of Johannesburg’s Centre for Competition, Regulation and Economic Development found that the lower termination rates introduced in 2011 has saved the South African consumer R47 billion over 5 years.
Besides a focus on choice, Cell C’s offering of prepaid, top up and postpaid voice, data and messaging solutions are cost-effective. With a focus on innovation, Cell C is the only South African mobile provider to offer WiFi Calling, a service that effectively turns any WiFi hotspot into an extended base station. This allows customers to make calls, send text messages and check voicemail, among other services, no matter where they are in the world, at local prices. This service is integrated into the software of a wide range of branded handsets that support this service on the network.
Cell C, in contrast to South Africa’s largest mobile operators, has embraced services offered by over the top (OTT) players such as WhatsApp and Facebook and has worked to provide its customers with cost-effective solutions which incorporate these key platforms.
In July 2015, Cell C became the first mobile operator in the country to offer free access to Facebook and basic Internet services to its customers through Facebook’s Free Basics.
In another first for South African mobile customers, Cell C launched a free WhatsApp promotion for its customers, which ran for close to a year. Cell C WhatsApp users were able to send pictures, voice messages, videos and text messages via the WhatsApp platform without incurring any data charges. This promotion came to an end in September 2015 when Cell C introduced its R12 WhatsApp bundle, which offers unlimited WhatsApp services for a capped charge.
In representing all of its customers, Cell C sponsors a range of teams and events, including:
Cell C has supported strategic CSI initiatives since it was launched in 2001. Cell C’s CSI achievements include the following:
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