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How Cell C’s network migration will impact MTN and Vodacom customers

22 Jan 2021

Hanno Labuschagne 21 January 2021

How Cell C’s network migration will impact MTN and Vodacom customers

MTN customers do not have to worry about the impact of the migration of Cell C customers to its infrastructure, it told MyBroadband.

Cell C’s decision to decommission its own network has left South Africans – and MyBroadband readers in particular – concerned over the impact of increased traffic on the mobile networks they use.

The operator’s strategy involves the migration of its customers to MTN and Vodacom’s networks.

It has already started to move its contract and broadband subscribers to Vodacom, a process which it expects to complete by February 2021.

It is understood that Cell C’s prepaid subscribers will be migrated to MTN’s network.

No impact on MTN’s network performance

In response to a query regarding the concerns of MTN subscribers about this development, the operator’s Executive for Corporate Affairs Jacqui O’Sullivan told MyBroadband that the change will not have a bearing on its network performance.

“MTN does not anticipate any negative impact to its network as the bulk of the traffic will be carried by Cell C on its new RAN [Radio Access Network] and any roaming traffic on the MTN network will be catered for.”

In fact, MTN subscribers are set to benefit from the agreement, as Cell C has sold some of the spare roaming capacity on its RAN to MTN.

The RAN O’Sullivan referred to is the virtual network that Cell C is provisioning on MTN’s infrastructure as part of the migration.

This three-year process will see Cell C implement its RAN on logically partitioned MTN infrastructure and transmission.

In areas where its RAN won’t be available, Cell C will continue to roam on MTN’s own network.

Vodacom response

MyBroadband also asked Vodacom for comment with regards to the expected influx of Cell C’s contract and broadband customers on its network infrastructure.

The operator declined to comment to questions over whether its network quality will be affected by the change.

By the time of publication, it was unclear if the migration would lead to increased saturation on Vodacom’s network, while it is still not known exactly how Cell C’s customers will be served on Vodacom’s network.

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