Cell C Prepared to Settle Unpaid Spectrum Bill

Cell C a mobile operator is prepared to settle an unpaid spectrum bill. Regarding the settlement of its outstanding debts, the mobile provider indicated that beneficial negotiations have taken place with Icasa.

Cell C Prepared to Settle Unpaid Spectrum Bill

Cell C Prepared to Settle Unpaid Spectrum Bill

Given the uncertain state of its balance sheet, the mobile operator has found it difficult to scrape together the R288 million needed to purchase 10MHz of bandwidth at 3.5GHz.

“It was a liquidity issue. A portion of the amount has been paid and we are in discussions with Icasa regarding the balance,” said El Kope, interim chief financial officer at Cell C, in an interview with TechCentral on Thursday. “Icasa has been amenable in ensuring we resolve this.”

Kope wasn’t ready to reveal how much was still owed to Icasa. The two largest bidders in the auction, MTN and Vodacom, paid R5.2 billion and R5.4 billion, respectively, for frequencies in the 2.6GHz, 3.5GHz, 800MHz, and 700MHz bands. Liquid Intelligent Technologies spent R111 million, Rain spent R1.4 billion, and Telkom spent R2.2 billion.

Cell C outsourced the costly radio access network the portion of a telecom network that connects end users to Vodacom and MTN last year. Cell C underwent a further recapitalization of its balance sheet, spearheaded by its major shareholder, Blue Label Telecoms.

CEO Jorge Mendes claims that while MTN’s infrastructure serves Cell C’s prepaid users and mobile virtual network operator clients a significant portion of the company’s revenue post-paid customers of Cell C roam on Vodacom infrastructure.

Cell C continues to use its spectrum through its network partners even though it no longer runs its base stations. To a request for comment, Icasa did not reply.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here