Huawei partnering with Cell C to turn mobile operator into a digital lifestyle company

  • Cell C has had a tough time of late, as the embattled telecommunications service provider pushes on with its turnaround strategy. 
  • The latest move sees it partner with Huawei to embrace more digital lifestyle offerings. 
  • Among other things, the partnership will see Huawei deploy a cloud-native BSS solution across Cell C’s business lines and customer segments.

In recent years Cell C has embarked on a turnaround strategy with mixed results. This included a recapitalisation earlier in the year, and now the telecommunications service provider is partnering with Huawei.

The partnership was announced with the Africa Tech Festival on the go in Cape Town at the moment, with Huawei assisting Cell C to pivot towards becoming a digital lifestyle company.

“This follows the launch of the BSS (Business Support Systems) Transformation project and cooperation for Digital Service and Customer Experience Management, aimed at providing end users with an enhanced digital experience, allowing Cell C to evolve from a traditional Mobile Service Provider to a modern Technology Company,” Huawei explained in a press release sent to Hypertext.

“The partnership with Huawei, a leading global BSS solution provider with a wealth of experience in various markets, will help achieve that. In this transformation, Huawei will deploy a Cloud Native BSS Solution across Cell C’s different business lines and customer segments, thereby improving its agility and modernising its BSS in readiness for future business rollouts,” it added.

It is indeed an interesting move from the company, which has struggled to compete with the likes of Vodacom and MTN, having also been surpassed by Telkom when it comes to local operators. There is quite a bit pinned on this partnership then, as Cell C hopes the transition can make it more competitive moving forward.

“Cell C is moving away from being a pure telco to a techco provider and customer centricity is pivotal to this future. Our IT systems need to be able to support us in this journey as we become a digital business with simpler business flows. This means removing complexities from our user journeys and being able to respond better to our customer’s needs,” noted Douglas Craigie Stevenson, CEO of Cell C regarding the announcement.

“Through collaborations and partnerships like this one with Huawei, we will be able to launch more innovative products and services to our customers. Huawei brings a proven success record in other markets with their latest solutions and experience and Cell C will leverage this expertise to create customer value,” he concluded.

It remains to be seen what this partnership will yield, but it will be interesting to see whether it impacts the current duopoly that exists within South Africa.

“Our next generation BSS is a cloud-native BSS solution which will enable Cell C to simplify their products while still offering a lot of flexibility to their customers. Business is evolving and processes are becoming more complex with the introduction of many partner products into the ecosystem but our solution fully aligns to TMForum guidelines,” highlighted Fortune Wang, Huawei SA, Carrier Business director of the deal.

“With Huawei’s vast experience working with leading global telcos, together with a large R&D investment into our products, we believe that our solution can effectively support the new Cell C way of doing business,” he ended.


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