Cell C CEO, Jose Dos Santos says that the group aims to position the rollout of it’s network to be able to implement fifth-generation mobile technology, or 5G.
Speaking this week at the company’s headquarters in Midrand, Dos Santos said 5G will enable applications, new business models. “Its where the world is going.”
In January, China based technology and mobile handset maker, Huawei said it would be able to deliver 4.5G mobile broadband capabilities commercially in 2016.
Huawei, an infrastructure partner of Cell C in SA, said at a conference in Shenzen in April, that it plans to spend $600 million on 5G wireless research and development up to 2018, with a commercial launch expected for around 2020.
However, Dos Santos stressed that 4.5G would require 44MHz of spectrum. “Unless this digital migration takes place, we are not going to be able to bring this technology to this country,” he said.
“The youth need to be connected. If you don’t have this technology in the next five years, you are not going to be competitive.
Cell C said in April that it will invest R8 billion in its LTE network over the next three years, aiming to deliver high-speed broadband to its customers across South Africa.
The operator plans to launch a commercial offering in the latter part of 2015 and will reveal its LTE suite of products and services in due course.
However, Dos Santos said that LTE will be obsolete in 2 years. “We are positioning Cell C’s rollout with a view to implementing these news technologies.