Cell C to launch LTE?

Cell C CEO Jose Dos Santos has hinted at a possible commercial launch of Long Term Evolution (LTE) for the group.

Speaking at the MyBroadband 2014 conference in Midrand on Tuesday (30 September), Dos Santos said that Cell C would make an announcement on its LTE plans in the next two weeks.

The group talked up its LTE plans as far back as 2012, and said that it would have 1,000 sites ready by the end of 2013, having run a number of trials in big cities including Joburg and Cape Town.

However, it said it would not roll out LTE on a national scale until there was 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,” it has said previously.

Currently, LTE networks in South Africa are only used to carry data, and devices typically fall back to a carrier’s HSPA or 2G network to make and receive calls.

Last week, Vodacom announced that it successfully installed 4G equipment at every site across the country – enabling its whole network to now be 4G capable.

Vodacom provided the following details on the number of sites currently offering 2G, 3G, and LTE services:

  • 2G sites: 10,200
  • 3G sites: 7,800
  • LTE sites: 1,800
  • LTE-Advanced test sites: 2

Similarly, Telkom announced Tuesday,  that it will launch 4G Long Term Evolution Advanced (LTE-A) in 50 suburbs, beginning December.

LTE Advanced is a cellular networking standard that offers higher throughput than its predecessor, LTE standard.

Dos Santos also hinted at more price cuts for its customers to include calls and data.

He said that the group would make a formal announcement on Friday, with adverts set to run in national newspapers on Sunday.

More on LTE

Whole Vodacom network now 4G ready

Cell C: 1000 LTE sites in 2013

LTE not ready yet: Cell C

Telkom announces LTE advanced launch

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Cell C to launch LTE?