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Ethio Telecom is now largest African mobile operator

Ethiopia’s state owned telecommunications company Ethio Telecom, is now the continent’s largest mobile operator. This is according to IT Web’s report that with over 57 million mobile subscribers as at November 2017, Ethio Telecom had beat MTN Nigeria to become Africa’s largest in terms of its mobile customer base.

Ethio Telecom of Ethiopia is now the largest mobile operator in Africa in terms of subscriptions, with 57.34 million mobile subscriptions at end-2Q17. “Ethiopia is also one of the very few African countries that has not liberalised its telecoms market and introduced competition, so Ethio Telecom has a monopoly,” a sector expert was quoted to have said. The operator put its success down to an expansion drive that cost them over $1.6 billion in the last few years. The expansion they said contributed ‘an integral part in terms of customer base and infrastructure growth.’

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Business Health Miscellaneous Mobile Phones Networks News

Ethio Telecom expanding with $800m ZTE deal

Mobile subscription rates have been growing for over a decade worldwide. There are now huge opportunities in developing countries like Ethiopia where mobile phones are now becoming more affordable than ever before. This has become the driving force between Ethiopia’s largest network and the Chinese phone manufacturing company ZTE signing an $800m deal.

The deal will see Ethio Telecom expand their current subscriptions rates to a projected 50 million, aiming to also include 4G services in certain areas, with 3G being available nationwide. This will see them double their current subscribers and vastly improve the access to mobile internet in the country, where only 1% can currently do so.

The head of Ethio Telecom Andualem Admassie said “The expansion is vital to attain Ethio Telecom’s objective of increasing telecom service access and coverage across the nation, as well as to upgrade existing network to new technology”.

The $800m deal is only half of the current project in the country. Half is made up in partnership with ZTE and the other half in competing Chinese company Huawei.