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PLAYING OUR PART FOR OUR CUSTOMERS AND COMMUNITIES

Thursday, 2 April 2020

CELL C CONCLUDES DISCUSSIONS WITH COMPETITION COMMISSION WITH FURTHER ENHANCED DATA SERVICES AND HELPS CITIZENS STAY CONNECTED, INFORMED AND SAFE IN THE FIGHT AGAINST COVID-19

CHAMPIONING DIGITAL INCLUSION

Cell C is pleased to announce that, following constructive discussions with the Competition Commission, the mobile operator's voluntary offer to contribute to the Commission's quest for greater digital participation and connection has been finalised.

"The company's voluntary offer is in line with Cell C's commitment to digital inclusion, central to the objectives of the Data Services Market Inquiry recommendations. It was encouraging that there is alignment with the Commission and Cell C's drive for a social compact on data prices," says Cell C CEO, Douglas Craigie Stevenson.

The Commission's recommendations on data price cuts have resulted in industry prices now falling to levels that Cell C has been offering since 2018 and the company is happy to have concluded an agreement in these circumstances," Craigie Stevenson added.

Cell C Chief Legal Officer, Zahir Williams clarified that the context of the agreement is based on Cell C's social responsibility to ensure that lower income consumers have access to essential communication services through the provision of free daily lifeline data and the zero rating of essential government and educational services.

"It is important to keep in mind that the Inquiry did not find any evidence that Cell C had contravened the Competition Act, rather that certain industry-wide measures would improve access by lower income consumers," Williams said.

1. Lifeline package

Cell C will by 1 May 2020, launch a free lifeline package capped at a bundle size determined by Cell C, accessible to the Cell C pre-paid customer base. In this regard, Cell C will further enhance its lifeline package to allow for direct messaging to another Cell C customer via Cell C App (and portal). In addition, the package, to be filed with ICASA under the End User Services and Subscriber Charter Regulations (EUSSR), includes:

  • Delivery conversion to SMS (i.e. SMS delivery fall back) for customers who are not on the App
  • 5 FREE SMS per customer per day (Cell C to Cell C) PLUS
  • 7 FREE Call Me per day (across network and currently available) PLUS
  • Free basics ( internet.org) access

Customers can access the Lifeline bundle via:

  • a USSD (short code) string / Cell C App or portal
  • When the request is received the system will check if the customer qualifies
  • If the customer qualifies the lifeline bundle is activated and the customer will receive an SMS confirmation
  • When the bundle is completely depleted OR if it is not and expires at 00h00:00 the system will send the customer a depletion / expiry message. Customers will be able to access their balances on the App, portal and via USSD (short code).

Limitations of the lifeline package

The following limits will be in place to manage potential fraudulent usage / abuse:

  • No video or streaming off sites other than YouTube where there is some educational and health content available (i.e. no Netflix / Showmax / Google Movies / Amazon prime / AppleTV / Spotify / Joox / Google or Apple Music etc.).

2. Effective rate notification/transparency

To ensure transparency for the benefit of customers, Cell C will implement Effective Rate (ER) notifications that will allow customers to check usage per MB price. This enhances price

transparency, particularly for products no shorter than 30-day bundles, hybrid and post-paid customers.

The platform will assist customers to view a single landing page / USSD (short code) number that directs them to promotional or personalised offers. The effective rate will take a period of 06-09 months to implement.

HELPING COMMUNITIES STAY CONNECTED, INFORMED AND SAFE

1. Free Services

Cell C already offers a range of free services that our subscribers can use to stay in contact with loved ones and stay informed about the Coronavirus through government, news and health sites including:

  • Zero rating the national COVID-19 website ( www.sacoronavirus.co.za)
  • Free push SMSes promoting the COVID-19 WhatsApp number 0600 123 456
  • Free access to Mpilo: Healthcare in Your Hands app, which was recently enhanced to help with Coronavirus screenings
  • Access to Free Basics by Facebook, which provides people with access to useful services on their mobile phones in markets where internet access may be less affordable
  • Free Access to MomConnect, The Department of Health's maternal service
  • Free access to essential information such as local and international headlines, education sites, health sites, weather services and more through Free Basics/internet.org
  • 5 Free SMSes per day, which is available through the Cell C app (also zero rated for our customers)
  • We are in the process of zero-rating some tertiary and health institution websites to enable free usage

2. Zero-rating of Public Benefit Organisations (PBO) content

Cell C will provide zero-rated access to customers on websites of designated PBOs on an affordable limit. These include National Government and Local Government content focused on:

Craigie Stevenson added: "We are passionate about delivering innovative service offerings as demonstration by our customer first approach. We will continue to help our customers and communities stay connected, informed and safe. I believe that we will all emerge from this difficult and unpredictable period having strengthened our resilience as individuals and institutions."



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