Cell C has promised it would launch 4G alongside other Long Term Evolution (LTE) services by the end of the year, joining South African competitor mobile operators MTN and Vodacom in high-speed network provision.
Alan Knott-Craig, CEO of Cell C, recently told 702 Talk Radio in Cape Town that the company will start a trial network in four cities between 2012 and 2013. LTE services will remain available on trial basis until finalised by the government as agreeably positioned on the national wholesale LTE network.
“We will approach our ‘heavy’ data users in those areas to participate in the trial,” said Knott-Craig. Spokesperson Karin Fourie stated that the 4G/LTE network will be covering specific areas in Cape Town and Durban with the launch, following up with expansion in Pretoria and Johannesburg early next year.
“Cell C’s towers have been connected to super-fast fibre-optic backhaul infrastructure,” she said.
The revelation of these latest launches follows the public speech of Joe Dos Santos, CCO of Cell C the operator’s desire for the national Roll out of LTE earlier this year. “If you can’t connect fibre to a base station, you won’t experience true fibre,” Dos Santos said during a conference in Johannesburg, according to ITNews Africa reports.
Vodacom was first to launch their 4G and LTE services in October, while MTN is waiting for the establishment of 400 to 500 active base stations before commercially releasing their upgraded services. Vodacom’s 70-site small footprint of higher-speed connection is currently offered in Johannesburg. MTN is considering to unveil theirs in December, TechCentral reports.
Other African countries also running LTE or 4G trials are Kenya, DRC, Ghana and Zambia. Kenya officials have announced their goal to establish LTE connectivity as a replacement technology countrywide before 2013.