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Work together on broadband, Cell C urges

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Cell C CEO has called on government and the rest of the industry to work together to plan and roll out a new 4G – and eventually 5G – network across the country.
He says the ultimate goal at Cell C is to roll out 4G and then to 5G.

5G will enable new applications, new business models and even new industries, he says. “The world is not going to be talking on voice or data in the future – they will be talking in virtual reality.”

Next year, 4,5G will become commercially available in many countries, with 5G to follow in 2017.

“The problem is that you can’t launch that unless you have 55MHz of spectrum,” Dos Santos says. “But unless the digital migration that we have been talking about for years happens, we won’t be able to bring this technology into this country.

“We have to work together as an industry to work together to get the regulator to understand what the fundamental problems are.

“The youth need to be connected. If we don’t introduce these technologies, we will become anti-competitive.

“You need a new consortium of incumbents and foreign investors to build this network. Start building from the rural area and you will see how quickly the cities will get built.”

Under current circumstances, Dos Santos says the poor will remain unconnected as incumbents are all focused on the metropolitan areas.