South African wireless operator Cell C has confirmed that it has launched its 900MHz HSPA+ network in a third city – East London; the network has already been launched in Port Elizabeth and Bloemfontein. The first phase of the rollout in East London will see 81% of the city’s population covered by the network. A second phase, which will ensure 100% coverage for the city and surrounding areas, should be completed by the end of this year. Subscribers in East London can expect data speeds of between 4Mbps and 7Mbps, although Cell C has claimed that customers elsewhere will be able to achieve speeds of 10Mbps.
In a related story, TechCentral reports that Cell C will launch its HSPA+ network in Cape Town today, describing it as ‘a city that has proved notoriously hard for operators to deliver wireless services’. TechCentral reports that Cell C’s rival wireless providers have experienced serious difficulties when trying to purchase ‘high-sites’ for 3G base stations in Cape Town. It is not known which suburbs will enjoy coverage at launch. Previously, Cell C CEO Lars Reichelt has promised to cover more than a third of South Africa’s population by the end of 2010. According to Reichelt, a single HSPA+ 900MHz transmitter can cover a three to five times larger area than those using a higher band.