The move will be a key foundation stone in the digitalisation efforts of the entire East Africa region
Ethio Telecom has announced that it has dramatically boosted the availability of 4G/LTE network services in Ethiopia, in a move that will see the company extend LTE services to regions outside of the capital, Addis Ababa.
Ethio Telecom, along with its technology partner, ZTE, will deploy advanced LTE technology across the southern region of Ethiopia, dramatically improving download speeds, network reliability and access to mobile broadband services for millions of consumers and businesses.
“Given the reliability, high bandwidth and high speed features of LTE Advanced services, we hope that it will enable and empower our customers to digitise their services, increase productivity and improve their experiences. We sincerely appreciate all our stakeholders who have provided required supports to realise the project within short period of time,” an Ethio Telecom spokesperson said.
Ethio Telecom said that it had plans to extend the reach of its new LTE Advanced networks in the coming months and issued a rallying cry to telecommunications stakeholders in the region to help it kick start the evolution of its fledgling digital economy.
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“Over the next few months, we will be launching similar services in other parts of the country, for which preparation works are underway.
“In this regard, we would like to call up on players in the ecosystem to capitalise [upon] this opportunity by providing useful contents and affordable handsets and join hands in realising digital inclusion which paves the way for [the development of our] digital economy
In information provided to Chinese newsagency, Xinhua, Ethio-Telecom confirmed that ZTE had been a key partner in the project to expand 4G services to six major Ethiopian cities in less than a two month period.
Ethiopia is still mulling over the extent to which it is prepared to open up its telecoms sector to foreign investment. Last year, the country condiered selling off two telecoms licences that would have allowed two foreign owned telcos to offer full MNO services in the country. However, the Ethiopian government has since rowed back on that initiaitive and is now believed to be considering selling off a 40% minority stake in state owned Ethio Telecom.