It’s fair to say that Cell C had a reputation for years as the network with decent prices but terrible coverage, but things have been changing somewhat over the past few months.
The company launched LTE connectivity late last year, delivering much better speeds and coverage for users – albeit several years after MTN and Vodacom.
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The carrier has wasted no time though, launching the much faster LTE-Advanced network in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria this week.
“Cell C has become the leading innovator in the South African mobile telecommunications industry. We were the first and only provider to embrace over-the-top services, like Facebook and WhatsApp, by offering free access and true value to customers for services they love. Cell C was the first and currently only operator to offer WiFi Calling giving customers wider coverage and an affordable alternative to international roaming by making any WiFi hotspot a mini Cell C base station. Now we are the first operator in the country to bring LTE-A on such a large scale covering three of the largest metros in SA,” Cell C CEO Jose Dos Santos said in a statement.
Dos Santos was careful with his words, saying they were the first operator “to bring LTE-A on such a large scale”. MTN already beat Cell C to the LTE-A punch last month, albeit in several affluent suburbs only.
Cell C explained that its LTE-A footprint overlaps its LTE footprint, “meaning Cell C customers that have LTE-A capable devices in LTE areas will experience the speed of LTE-A”.
The network expects its LTE-A network to go live in KwaZulu-Natal by the third quarter of 2016.
Is your phone compatible with LTE-A though? Well, the network says that Category 6 devices are compatible, namely the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 (SM-920C), Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge (SM-G928C), Apple iPhone 6s, Apple iPhone 6s Plus, Huawei Mate 8 dual SIM, Samsung Galaxy S7 (G930F), Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge (G935F) and the LG G5 (H850).
Cell C explained that more phones and “standalone data devices” would be made available.
Have a compatible device? Then you won’t see any special symbols to denote LTE-A coverage beyond the standard LTE icon. You will however experience downloads of up to 100Mbps, Cell C explained.
Thinking about getting a compatible phone? Then check out our LG G5 review.