Dos Santos: We’re not in a capex race


Johannesburg – South Africa’s third largest mobile network, Cell C, is not in a race to beef up its capital expenditure (capex), said the company’s CEO Jose Dos Santos.

Speaking at Cell C’s financial results briefing in Johannesburg on Tuesday, Dos Santos announced his company’s first ever full-year profit of R540m. The company, which first started operations in 2001, also reported 15.3 million users and revenue of R14.6bn.

The company further said it invested R3.4bn in its network and other fixed and intangible assets in 2016 and its total capital expenditure since 2013 has been over R11.6bn.

In comparison, South Africa’s biggest mobile network by subscribers, Vodacom, reported capital expenditure of R8.7bn for the year ended March 31 2016.

“There’s been one or two analysts who have commented, you know, we don’t spend enough capex as the other incumbents and we can’t survive,” said Dos Santos.

“I mean this is not about a capex race. This is about having a network that offers the same coverage, the same quality as any other network,” he added.

Dos Santos further said his company has a “strong arrangement on roaming” with Vodacom in outer areas, and that Cell C chooses to “spend capex in the metro areas”.

“What’s important to know is on the voice side we carry 92% of the traffic on our own network, and on the data side we carry 96% of all data usage on our own network. So, we have a very clear strategy of how we position our products,” said Dos Santos.

“There’s no need to spend R10bn a year,” he added.

Read more of this story on: Fin24