South African mobile operator Cell C has launched its 4G LTE network in Gauteng and parts of Durban, with plans to have 200 LTE-enabled sites in operation at year-end and 4,000 base transceiver stations (BTS) by 2017. The cellco – which deployed its 4G network using 10MHz of spectrum in the 2100MHz band – said that 400,000 subscribers have already been ‘provisioned’ for LTE; the company disclosed that prospective users should expect average downlink speeds of 30Mbps. Meanwhile, the operator will introduce a promotional LTE subscription plan from 1 October, which will offer 100GB of data allowance for ZAR100 (USD7.2) per month. The deal however will only be available to 1,000 subscribers in Gauteng and 500 users in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) on a first-come-first-serve basis.
Elsewhere, Cell C is planning to commercially launch a Wi-Fi calling service for subscribers with compatible handsets on 1 October. Cell C CEO Jose Dos Santos said: ‘Whether you are in a basement or find yourself in an area with no cellular coverage, Wi-Fi access will allow you to receive a full mobile experience, including voice, USSD [unstructured supplementary service data] self-service and SMS.’ Wi-Fi calling will initially be available to Cell C’s subscribers using the AG Style handset, with the service scheduled to be enabled for AD Shine in mid-October, Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge (November), and Galaxy S6 Edge Plus and Galaxy Note 5 (mid-December).