Safaricom Ethiopia on Monday began a large-scale customer pilot of its network in Dire Dawa City.
The pilot in Ethiopia’s second biggest city after the capital Addis Ababa is part of the company’s phased city-by-city regional network roll-out and rigorous service tests building towards its national launch in October.
The customer pilot will be on 2G, 3G and 4G networks and customers will be able to purchase SIM cards and choose their preferred numbers on Safaricom Ethiopia’s 07 prefix.
The Safaricom Ethiopia SIM cards will be available in the branded shops or souks and come with a welcome offer of Data, Voice, and SMS for customers to test and experience the network for one month.
“We are excited to begin our customer pilot for Safaricom Ethiopia’s network and services in Dire Dawa. This is an important milestone we begin opening the network to customers in order to test the end-to-end readiness of technical and commercial operations ahead of full network launch,” said Anwar Soussa, Chief Executive Officer, Safaricom Ethiopia.
In addition to the welcome package, customers will also be able to actively purchase airtime vouchers from branded shops or souks to recharge their airtime balance to continue using services on the network.
Three shops in Kezira, Meskelegna and Cornell areas will be open to the public for customer registration, purchase of devices, and dedicated customer support.
On Safaricom Ethiopia’s test network in Dire Dawa, customers will be able to use data services, make calls and send SMS to Safaricom Ethiopia and Ethio Telecom customers, and make international calls worldwide.
Customers will also have the option of accessing customer care services from the call centre in their preferred language (Amharic, Afaan Oromo, Af-Somali, Tigrigna, and English), by dialling 700 to speak to the customer experience agents.
“This customer pilot is part of switching on our network and services in 25 cities by April 2023, as part of our long-term commitment to transforming lives for a digital future in line with the Digital Ethiopia objectives,”Soussa said.
Since getting the license to operate in July 2021, the company has invested in its network and building infrastructure, including its own mobile radio towers, national transmission network, and wholesale agreements for international connectivity.
Safaricom is the first private telecom company in Ethiopia.