South Africa's Cell C Plans HSPA Network for 2010

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South Africa's smallest operator Cell C is planning a R5 billion (USD660 million) investment in a HSPA upgrade during 2010. The company currently does not offer 3G services and will leap directly to HSPA.

"The fastest 3G networks in South Africa offer speeds of 7.2 megabits a second. Cell C's network will offer download speeds that are three times faster than what is available in the market today," Cell C's Chief executive Lars Reichelt said.

The operator is also planning to deploy its HSPA network in the 900Mhz band, making it the first operator in the country to offer 3G services in the traditional GSM spectrum. The lower frequencies should enable it to cover rural areas using fewer base stations.

The company also announced that it will start building its own fibre infrastructure to reduce its reliance on the dominant landline operator, Telkom.

Last year, Cell C's former CEO, Jeffrey Hedberg dismissed 3G as "hype", although he mellowed his views on the issue later in the year as the company tentatively started looking at a 3G deployment.

Based on figures from the Mobile World, Cell C had 6.7 million subscribers at the end of June 2009, representing a market share of 13.5%.

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Tags: cell c  hspa  africa  planning  South Africa 

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