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Latest Deals | 27th September 2021




Cell C is South Africa’s third biggest mobile operator.

Cell C launched in 2001 as South Africa’s third mobile network operator and a challenger to established Vodacom and MTN that had been active in the market since 1994. The company was formed by. Saudi-based Oger Telecom and a BEE consortium, CellSaf, who each held a 60% and 40% stake, respectively. Cell C made a big splash when it launched, announcing its arrival with a quirky marketing campaign and cheaper pricing than its competitors. The new player quickly garnered customers, especially in the prepaid and youth ends of the market that the more established companies had paid less attention to. The strategy was one that Cell C revisited in 2012, when the company significantly dropped its call rates In an effort to gain further market share. This action kicked off a price war with its rivals and they followed suit. Cell C managed to gain more customers, but the tough competitive landscape, as well as infrastructure challenges that the company was facing, took their toll and made it difficult for Cell C to be profitable in spite of its higher user base.

With the growth in demand for data – and facing new competition from the Telkom-backed 8ta – Cell C saw an opportunity establish itself as the network offering the cheapest data packages and slashed its home and office broadband prices. By 2015, Oger Telecoms was looking to sell its stake and a deal was concluded in August 2017 with Blue Label Telecoms acquiring a 45% share for R5.5-billion and increasing the local ownership of Cell C to 86%. Products offered by Cell C include voice, internet and voicemail services. The company currently has an estimated market share of 16%, translating into an active subscriber base of 12.6 million customers.

Cell C ran a successful campaign featuring Trevor Noah from 2010 to 2012.