Ethio Telecom has confirmed its intention to strengthen its 4G LTE network to support the further roll out of its TeleBirr mobile money service.
The company says it has reached hit six million customers with Telebirr launched two months ago.
Speaking at the launch of the company’s 4G LTE in the North West region of the country, Ethio Telecom CEO Frehiwot Tamru said the 4G network will help the company reach more customers with its digital financial services.
She said the region has over 361, 000 mobile phone subscribers and over 72, 000 customers already own 4G-enabled smartphones.
“The 4G network is faster than the existing 3G internet connectivity. The internet service advancement contributes to modernising of economic activities in addition to easing transactions and enhancing financial inclusion,” said Tamru.
Ethio Telecom launched the mobile money service while the government looks to sell 40% stake in the company as part of a broader plan to liberalise its economy.
The government issued a tender for the sale of the stake last month in a bid to make the company more competitive as the country’s telecommunications industry is opened to private investment.
Currently foreign mobile operators are barred from providing mobile money services in the country.
In May this year, the government said the country’s mobile financial services will only be opened up to competition in May 2022, a year after the launch of the Telebirr.
Ethio Telecom is understood to have a customer base of over 53 million subscribers.