New Cell C CEO 'ready for action'

2012-01-20 09:23

Cape Town – New Cell C CEO Alan Knott-Craig has said that his first priority is to build a "world class network".

"The number one priority is I have to make sure that we can build a world class quality network with a footprint which is competitive or better than the other network operators. We cannot build a company without a proper network," the former Vodacom boss told News24.

Cell C is regarded as a junior in the South African mobile market and its third position behind Vodacom and MTN is under pressure from Telkom new-comer 8ta.

Knott-Craig said that it will take some time to build a network.

"It's going to take 12 months, maybe 18 months. We can do other things in parallel, but that has to be a top priority."


He officially takes over in April and said that this was due to his cooling off period after his stint at Vodacom.

"I had a restraint which was three and a half years which only comes to an end at the end of March this year. I think three and a half is enough time, number one and I think Vodacom has changed a little bit in three and a half years," he said.

Knott-Craig rejected suggestions that he had been out of the industry too long to be able to make a contribution to the operator, but recognised that he had a fixed-term contract.

"We're going to find out - I think so. I've always liked the company Cell C. I like the shareholders which is important.

"It's a three-year contract so this not like a lifetime job. I'm very keen on it and absolutely determined to make sure the company is a lot more competitive when I leave and in really good shape - a force to be reckoned with in South Africa," he said.

Vodacom CEO Pieter Uys congratulated Knott-Craig on his appointment.

"Congratulations to Alan. Competition is always good. Looking forward to working with all in telecoms industry to shape future," Uys wrote on Twitter.

And Knott-Craig appeared to be ready to face the challenge.

"Pieter is very good and Vodacom is a great company - so is MTN. But these are two formidable companies and formidable CEOs - that just makes it more exciting, I guess," he said.

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  • Citizen - 2012-01-20 09:37

    Please specialise in Data, Cell C, this will stand you apart from the rest, good cheap reliable data packages and i will support you forever!I might even sign a contract!

      kevin.vanblerk - 2012-01-20 09:52

      @Citizen, I couldn't agree with you more!

  • Charl - 2012-01-20 10:22

    Yes, cheaper DATA would be the number one priority, followed by good, reliable, and cost effective links in overseas countries.

  • Sigmund - 2012-01-20 11:43

    please cheaper data and you will get more customers.In my comunity we always talk about how expensive data is,so i hope with the new CEO cell c will give cheaper data

  • Anakin - 2012-01-20 17:48

    Way too late. Went over to 8ta. If you don't want to pay R50/100MB and suffer super-low or no speed 0kbps[no throughput] or 5kbps [super-slow] [RANDBURG area!!] then have a look at 8ta. I suffered needlessly in Dec-2011 with their ON and OFF network and their horrible call-center advice, until I MYSELF SWITCHED ON the roaming setting to go through Vodacom. They REFUSE to tell you this, instead telling you to get external aerials,new modems or technicians that must come out to have a look. Connection now min. 150kbps > 200kbps, OK for me. NOT OK is BAD WRONG ADVICE. So get a 8ta simcard [2G for R150 ANYtime] and FORGET about Cell-C. 8ta COVERAGE via MTN Roaming agreement: 1. GO TO : [ 2G for R150 ANYtime ] 2. NOW CHECK COVERAGE for your area at ... >> NB.NB.NB.NB. >>>> 8TA Data-bundles DO NOT EXPIRE on midnight on SUNDAY <<<< Extract : CLICK ON : Show Network Info button [ on ] " The network offered is a full 2G / 3G network in both the 1800 and 2100 MHz bands. There is general coverage in the 6 major metropolitan areas and overlay coverage provided by MTN on an initial national roaming agreement until all sub-urban and rural areas are sufficiently covered by our own network. " Then see 2G special [ 8ta PREpaid SIM ] [ 2G for R150 ANYtime + 1G Midnight 12am - 5am FREE ] at ... [] No Cell-C for me, ever again.

  • Paul - 2012-01-22 01:18

    Give me a break Alan. There is no Telkom for you to piggy back on like in the days with Vodacom. You will bankrupt Cell C before you have the 'world class' network. It is never good to employ a CEO from a incumbent that is more likely to employ a "me too" strategy. Their approach to a problem would be something like ..."When I was at Vodacom... instead of being original". Alan Snr and Jnr will just end up enriching themselves as they did at Vodacom. I give Alan two years before he leaves Cell C without having built his "world class network". If you want to turn the tide in the mobile telecommunications industry, the answer will be found in legislation. Why can't more than one user profile be loaded onto a sim card which would allow you to choose on which network you want to make a call (depending on cost). This would give network operators like cell c and 8ta an even playing ground. Then the success of an SA mobile operator will not be dependent on mobile churn, but on price/affordability. For something like this to happen, we will need a strong Department of Communications (although this has been lacking for some time now). Bottom line, Alan has come to collect some more retirement money and pump us his "God" complex. Poor choice in CEO, Cell C. Even Trevor Noah would have been a better choice. LOL

  • Lesley - 2012-01-22 11:03

    And how much money is he going to rip out of CellC for himself. the only way he knew like most CEOs to manage a business was to rip the customer off so thet he could pay himself a huge salary and huge bonusses. That is why business thinks he is great

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