Big Cell C change with a new store franchise model

Cell C will implement a store franchise model. It includes franchising 44 company-owned stores and retaining three stores.

Cell C said the store franchise model aligns with its strategy of leveraging partnerships to boost revenue and drive growth.

The mobile operator reviewed its service model and performed a benchmarking exercise on 47 company-owned stores.

“Our franchise model has proven successful, with franchising stores performing 14% better,” Cell C said.

Following its review, Cell C will franchise 44 company-owned stores and retain stores in Mall of Africa, Gateway, and Canal Walk.

It will also implement enterprise and SMME development, with staff given the opportunity to purchase stores as franchisees.

“The process is expected to take at least three months, with more details to be communicated in due course,” Cell C said.

There were concerns that staff may lose their jobs. However, Cell C dismissed these concerns, saying all jobs will be retained.

“Staff contracts will be transferred to franchisees with the same employment terms and conditions, with Cell C’s involvement in ensuring a seamless transfer,” it said.

The operator said it will continue to invest in the store branch expansion to extend its footprint.

The decision to use a store franchise model follows Cell C’s switching off of its radio network and roaming on MTN and Vodacom.

In June 2023, Cell C announced that it had successfully completed its network migration and switched off its tower infrastructure.

The company handed over the building and operation of its cellular network to MTN, using its own spectrum.

MTN provides Cell C access to a “virtual radio access network” for its prepaid and mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) subscribers.

FNB Connect, Capitec Connect, Shoprite K’nect, and Standard Bank Mobile are MVNOs that run on Cell C.

Cell C’s contract and broadband subscribers are already roaming on Vodacom. However, Vodacom does not have access to Cell C’s spectrum.

Cell C said the agreements give customers expanded national coverage, higher quality connections, fewer dropped calls, and a more stable network during load-shedding.

“We have effectively increased our network access close to three-fold in less than three years, from 5,500 towers to 14,000,” Cell C said.

“We are the first mobile operator to think about our network strategy differently, and instead of trying to build an expensive network, we chose to become a buyer of network services.”

Cell C said technology advances enabled this approach and that this innovation has changed the telecommunications landscape.

It also stated that the market now comprises those who own infrastructure and those who buy it as a service.


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