Ethiopia to install 4G network ahead of telecoms liberalisation

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A branch of state-owned Ethio Telecom is seen in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The country's only mobile and internet provider, has north of 40 million customers. PHOTO | REUTERS
A branch of state-owned Ethio Telecom is seen in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The country’s only mobile and internet provider, has north of 40 million customers. PHOTO | REUTERS

Ethiopia’s state-run Ethio Telecom plans to install a 4G network in the capital and other regions and to upgrade other network services, it said on Friday, as the government prepares to open up the sector to private foreign investment.

In July, Ethiopia announced it would award two telecoms licenses to multinational mobile companies, signaling a move toward opening up one of the world’s last major closed telecom markets.

Referring to the liberalisation drive, Ethio Telecom on Friday announced a three-year strategic plan to “reshape the company and lead with business orientation and a competitive mindset.”

Based on data traffic growth and demand, Ethio Telecom will roll out 4G network capacity in Addis Ababa and other regions, and improve network coverage and capacity, the company said.

The statement gave no budget or financing details for the expansion.

The company expects to increase total subscribers by 16 per cent to 50.46 million in the year to July 2020.

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