Cell C sign-ups boom

For the first time in the history of Cell C, the operator has connected more than one million customers in one month.

The operator announced on Tuesday (30 July 2013) that it has signed up one million customers in July 2013 – the first time the operator achieved such strong growth.

“I am exceptionally proud and excited to announce that for the first time in the history of Cell C we have connected more than one million customers in one month,” said Alan Knott-Craig, Cell C CEO.

“Last night we broke through the million gross connection barrier bringing our total customer base to over 11.7 million.”

Knott-Craig said that while churn is still high, he is encouraged by the steady growth in net additions for the month of July, which as of last night (29 July 2013) totalled over 338 000 connections.

Cell C is currently the third largest mobile operator behind Vodacom with 29.3 million SA subscribers and MTN with 25 million. Telkom Mobile had 1.5 million subscribers in March 2013.

Knott-Craig told media at the company’s headquarters in Sandton on 17 July, that operators in SA needed a market share of between 20-25% to be profitable.

Cell C is on a three year path to profitability, and follows a recent injection an injection of around R5.7-billion.

The cash comes from Oger Telecom, the Lebanese-controlled firm with an indirect 75% holding in the SA operator, which invested a further $350-million (around R3.5 billion) and key lenders “including Nedbank and the Development Bank of South Africa” which provided R2.2 billion.

South Africa’s third operator claimed on 17 July that its subscriber numbers had swelled to 11.5 million, from nine million over the past 18 months, giving the group an approximate 14% market share.

This compares to rivals Vodacom, which has 29.282 million (June), MTN which has 24.95 million (March), and Telkom Mobile at 1,54 million customers (March).

Noting the group’s success over the past 18 months, Knott-Craig said: “we are hoping to keep this kind of growth growing over the next couple of years.”

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Cell C sign-ups boom