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A L L  I N  T H E  F A M I L Y !
Access to cellular communications has altered the way in which we live, do business and communicate with friends and family.

The cellular networks were permitted to start a test phase on 1 March 1994, and official commercial operations began on 1 June 1994. Demand far exceeded expectations, and call volumes increased by 540% in five months! At this stage, access to cellular communications was confined to consumers able to comply with the strict credit vetting required to secure a contract with a service provider. The cellular industry enjoyed excellent growth over the following two years, but received a dramatic injection with the introduction of the pre-paid, no credit products in 1996. These pre-paid products opened up access to cellular communications to anyone with the ready cash to purchase a cellular telephone, and “air-time” as it suited them.

The introduction of pre-paid products moved the cellular industry into the fast-moving consumer goods market. It was at this stage that Delcell began operating as wholesalers of pre-paid cards. Delcell is a family business, founded and headed up by Winston de la Mare. In the early days of the business, Winston was joined by brother-in-law Donald King, and in the ensuing 5 years by various family members, including sisters, nieces and children (in-law and own). Delcell’s main business focus is in the prepaid telecommunications industry, being distributors of MTN, Vodacom, Telkom and Cell C prepaid products (cards and handsets) to the trade.

Thanks to the dedication and commitment to customer service of all involved, the business has grown steadily, and distributes cards and handsets to customers in varied locations. In a report in the Financial Mail of 17 November 2000, it was stated that cellular telephone market penetration stands at approximately 13% of South Africa’s population. This same report also noted this is roughly double the level of the previous year, due largely to the adoption of pre-paid services, which now account for about 70% of South Africa’s 5,5 million user base. Based on the above statistics - and his boundless faith and enthusiasm! - Winston believes that there is still much opportunity in this industry, and that Delcell will continue to grow.