MTN South Africa chief executive officer Godfrey Motsa says that the company is committed to working with struggling operator Cell C.
Speaking at the MyBroadband Conference in Midrand, Johannesburg, Motsa stated that MTN would retain its new, expanded roaming agreement with Cell C.
This expanded roaming agreement allows Cell C to rely more heavily on MTN’s infrastructure and reduce its capital expenditure while retaining nationwide coverage and high-speed data services.
“Here is the bottom line – we are committed to working with Cell C,” Motsa said. “Whatever we do with Cell C first and foremost should be in the best interest of MTN shareholders.”
“Cell C wants to consolidate its infrastructure with ours – this is not something you would do in two weeks, it takes time.”
Motsa added that MTN is in discussions with Cell C to extend its roaming agreement into urban areas as well.
Cell C CEO Craigie Douglas Stevenson previously said that the mobile operator was looking to completely move its network to MTN and function similarly to a high-level mobile network virtual operator (MVNO).
Craigie Stevenson said Cell C is negotiating a new roaming deal with MTN which will see it carry all of Cell C’s traffic.
This new roaming agreement will also see Cell C hand all of its towers over to MTN, which means it will no longer run its own network.
This will remove the need for Cell C to invest billions in its network and allow it to use this money for operational expenses.
Running an MVNO-like network on another operator’s infrastructure is an effective way to cut down on expenses – something which Cell C is certainly looking to accomplish.
Speaking about the benefits of infrastructure sharing, Motsa highlighted the following advantages of this practice:
- Reduced capital and operating expenditure
- Lower barriers to entry, which allows for increased competition
- Lower asset duplication
- Expansion of network and coverage
- Lower service prices
- Reduced environmental impact
“By opening our infrastructure and allowing other MNOs to roam on the best network in the country, we are able to stimulate competition and reduce prices,” Motsa said.
“We are open for business for MNOs and MVNOs. We have MNOs on our network, and we are also certainly open to MVNOs.”
Motsa stated that all of these factors lead to an increase in connectivity and adoption by consumers, which results in vast economic and social benefits.