Cell C subscriber growth soars

Cell C says it has signed up one million gross customers in September, having achieved that milestone for the first time in July.

Speaking at the MyBroadband 2013 conference in Midrand, Cell C CEO, Alan Knott-Craig said that South Africa’s third operator had again signed up in excess of one million customers in September, for the second time ever.

The company told BusinessTech that it fell marginally short of reaching that target in August, meaning that its gross sign-ups is close to three million over the past three months.

“We have grown our base by 33% to 12.3 million customers in just 18 months,” Knott-Craig told delegates at the conference.

In July 2013, Cell C revealed that it had 11.7 million subscribers on its network – a steady climb from 8.2 million users in 2011 and 9.4 million in 2012 – boosting its relative market share to over 17%.

Knott-Craig has said that the company is targeting 25% market share in order to be profitable.

He added that the company has doubled the traffic on its network over the last 12 months. “When you come to the data traffic, I think its quadrupled,” the CEO has said previously.

This has put a strain on infrastructure, with Cell C subscribers voicing their displeasure over the quality of the operator’s network in recent months.

In an effort to address this issue, Cell C kicked off its network improvement project for the Gauteng region in August.

Knott-Craig said that 134 additional sites are being rolled out in order to tackle congestion and improve overall network performance, with 48 sites already completed.

Cell C plans to have 4,210 sites in South Africa by the end of November 2013, with 1,260 sites serving Gauteng alone.

The CEO said that capacity on the 3G network has been increased by 30% since January, with capacity to be further increased (target: 47% increase during 2013).

More on Cell C

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Cell C dead by 2014: analyst

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Cell C subscriber growth soars