South African mobile operator Cell C is planning to invest ZAR2.3 billion (USD223.5 million) in its national network in 2014, in order to address capacity problems and to cater for its expanding subscriber base, which reached 16.6 million users at the end of April, TechCentral reports. New CEO Jose Dos Santos said: ‘There is major work that has been done over the last eight months… We are moving from microwave to fibre for much more capacity and bandwidth and upgrading our core transmission network and deploying additional fibre routes. We recently signed an agreement with Broadband Infraco, which has brought tremendous stability to our network.’
In Gauteng, Cell C is swapping out its radio network, which is supplied by Nokia Solutions and Networks (NSN), and replacing it with an upgraded network from China-based vendor Huawei. The first phase of the project is currently underway in Pretoria and the northern parts of the province, and the focus will switch to the south from 16 June, followed by the eastern part of Gauteng from early-September. Dos Santos noted that Cell C built 439 new base transceiver stations (BTS) in 2013, bringing the total to 4,176 BTS by end-December. In 2014, Cell C plans to build 318 new sites by the end of September; 83 of these have already been switched on, mainly in Gauteng, the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.