New Cell C CEO seeks to ‘rewrite the rule book’ and double market share

27 Mar 2012

Incoming Cell C CEO Alan Knott-Craig has indicated that he wants to double the cellco’s market share within the next three or four years, TechCentral reports. Former Vodacom boss Knott-Craig, who takes over from Lars Reichelt next week, seeks to grow the mobile operator’s market share from 13% to 25%, turning the company into a ‘real player … as quickly as I can’. The industry veteran commented: ‘If you are not sitting at 25%-plus, it’s very difficult to compete … In this game, numbers do matter; size does count’. However, he told the newspaper that to effectively compete, he will need to change ‘the old rules of the telecommunications industry’, adding: ‘The business rules have been pretty much the same since as long as I can remember. If we use the same business rules, it’s going to be tough to catch up. If we change them, we’ll obviously change them to suit our own purposes.’

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Cell C became South Africa’s third mobile operator when it launched services in November 2001, after securing a licence in February that year. However, the cellco began operations via a 15-year roaming contract with market leader Vodacom and relied heavily on its rival’s network while its own infrastructure was in deployment. At launch, Cell C stated that its initial goal was to claim a 25% market share in terms of subscribers by the end of 2008, a target which it missed, with just 12.7% at that date.

South Africa, Cell C