Lars Reichelt, CEO Cell C, said that the network will offer download speeds of up to 21 MB per second or three times faster than the current service.
“This will bring high-quality wireless access to rural areas where it was previously unavailable”, said Reichelt, denying a completely shift towards wealthier users.
Using HSPA+ technology, the investment will allow Cell C to capitalize on the huge smartphone demand within the country and possibly gain more market share in the long run.
Currently, Cell C’s market share stays smaller than 15%, with competitors MTN and Vodacom sharing most of the mobile subscribers base.
Telkom, South Africa’s fixed-line operator and former monopoly in the ICT sector, is set to enter the mobile market this year and is in talks with Cell C, confirmed Reichelt.
According to analyst Arthur Goldstruck, a 4G network will face huge challenge in Africa, as even the existing 3G networks are not as persistent as they should be and thus few Africans enjoy high mobile connectivity speeds.