Cell C's broadband network: What to expect

07/09/2010 10:22

Cell C officially switched on their 21 Mbps HSPA+ network in PE, with plans to move to 42 Mbps in futurembt shoes Cell C launched their HSPA+ network, controversially branded “4Gs”, in Port Elizabeth on Friday, 3 September 2010. “What is significant about Cell C’s network, is that the HSPA+ release 7 network is IP across all network elements. This is a first for Africa, and will be rolled out countrywide and not only in pockets,” said Cell C CEO Lars Reichelt.mbt “The same Software Defined Radio (SDR) technology will be used across our entire network. It will be HSPA+ all the way from day one. The combination of R7 all IP networking along with the SDR technology will offer our customers a low latency, high capacity network that can evolve quickly as new standards are released.” “In addition, the lower frequency of 900 MHz compared to 2100 MHz provides for much deeper and wider coverage with better penetration for indoor users. The result is fewer base stations to cover an area and enhanced in-door coverage,” Reichelt pointed out.air max shoes So far the network and service offerings look promising. Not only does their launch offer undercut all other cellular operators, the speeds achieved from the launch venue were great. The network definitely lived up to the “4 Great speed” marketing hype. Bold coverage goals Reichelt said that 65% of the population of the Port Elizabeth metropolitan area was covered on launch day and that they plan to serve 99% of the population in future.air max Cell C plans to extend its HSPA+ network to cover 34% of the South African population by the end of 2010, and grow its population coverage to 67% by mid 2011. MTN had covered 48% of the South African population when they announced their year-end results last month while it took Vodacom around 5 years to provide 50% of South Africa's population with 3G coverage.air max 90 When one considers Vodacom and MTN’s battle to achieve 50% population coverage Cell C's goals are clearly very ambitious. Base station co-operation According to Reichelt, Cell C has more than 1600 sites with HSPA+ transmitters and is currently conducting friendly user tests in 10 cities.air max 95 At the launch event Reichelt thanked Cell C's competitors for their willingness to share sites and hence make their network rollout far easier. Reichelt expressed his hope that this way of working [site and resource sharing] continues with “a war on one side and co-operation on the other.” Even greater speeds Ron Reddick, Chief Information Officer at Cell C, confirmed that the 1600 sites Reichelt referred to in his launch presentation were true sites, not repeaters or anything else.air max 97 While their current sites have a downlink rating of 21.1 Megabits per second (Mbps), Reddick says that this can be increased in future to 40 Mbps with a software upgrade and some new antennas. The base stations can be further upgraded to 80 Mbps as well, Reddick said. “This may require some new hardware, but mostly it's all software controlled,” said Reddick. Reddick added that they definitely have enough backhaul capacity to serve their base stations, having provisioned at least 30 Mbps per site. He said that the backhaul is supplied by a combination of the Cell C private network, Dark Fibre Africa, Neotel and Telkom.uggs outlet According to Reddick the backhaul capacity is easily upgradeable, explaining that the whole network was built to be scalable and easily upgradable to enable them to stay ahead of demand. Deployment in larger metros Asked whether Cell C was struggling to get the network ready for operation in larger centres like Johannesburg, Cape Town and Pretoria, Reddick said it wasn't a struggle, “just a lot more work.” Reddick explained that it took three weeks of intense work by their teams in Port Elizabeth to get the network ready for launch. He mentioned antenna optimisation and tilt angles as the two factors that they had to get ‘just right’.cheap ugg boots He said that the city activations would go quicker as they are taking the lessons learnt from Port Elizabeth and applying them elsewhere. There are unconfirmed rumours that Cell C will be launching in Bloemfontein and Durban next. This seems to be in line with Reichelt's comments that the next cities to be launched will include one city smaller than Port Elizabeth and one larger.Air Jordan 7 Air Jordan 8 Air Jordan 9 Air Jordan 10 Air Jordan 11