Cell C LTE trial details emerge

Cell C has announced the launch of its Long Term Evolution (LTE) data trial, becoming the last major mobile operator in SA to do so.

The group announced in late November that its first sites with LTE capabilities had gone live, although not much additional information was provided.

A select group of heavy data customers that fall in coverage areas have been identified to form part of Cell C’s free trial LTE service, the group said in a statement on Wednesday (19 December). They will receive a Huawei LTE dongle and 100GB of data to test the company’s service for a limited time.

Cell C currently has live LTE sites in each of the trial cities; namely Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg and Pretoria. The company will have over 60 sites before the end of the year and more will follow in the New Year.

“While coverage is limited for the time being, we are excited to bring high-speeds to our selected trial customers. Once we have feedback on the service from these customers, we will expand the service to other customers,” said Alan Knott-Craig, Cell C CEO.

In addition to the free trial, Cell C said it will be offering up to 800 customers the opportunity to purchase an LTE dongle with an LTE-enabled SIM loaded with 100GB of data which will be valid for 365 days for a once-off fee of R2,999.

Customers hoping to participate in the commercial trial will be able to purchase their device and data from participating stores in the trial cities of Durban, Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria.

A list of the participating stores includes:

Pretoria Johannesburg Durban Cape Town
Cell C Menlyn Cell C Sandton Cell C Gateway Cell C Grande Parade
Cell C Hatfield Cell C Esher Cell C La Lucia Cell C Pickbell
Cell C Silverton Cell C Rosebank Cell C Game City Cell C V&A
Cell C Brooklyn Cell C Melrose Arch Cell C Head Office Cell C Canal Walk
Cell C Fourways Mall Cell C Workshop Cell C Cavendish
Cell C Davenport Cell C Blue Route Mall
Cell C Ballito

Cell C said it does not intend to rollout LTE on a national scale until there is more clarity regarding government’s broadband plans.

“Cell C would like to see the formation of a consortium consisting of both private and government entities that will be enabled to roll-out a national LTE network, using the spectrum that becomes available when broadcasters switch from analogue to digital,” the group stressed.

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Cell C LTE trial details emerge