Category: "ICT"

Ethiopia - ETC launches electronic card system

November 4th, 2008

Ethiopia - ETC launches electronic card system

By Muluken Yewondwossen

Ethiopia's State owned and sole telecom provider, the Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation (ETC) is to start electronic carding system for mobile subscribers, a system that enables online purchase of air time.

ETC has also announced that it has allocated 15.4 billion birr for projects scheduled to be implemented this fiscal year, and plans to accommodate 6 million new mobile and half a million fixed phone subscribers. Currently the Corporation is constructing towers in 15 regional towns and 125 in Addis Ababa.

In the first quarter of the fiscal year, ETC generated 1.7 billion birr in profits and by the year's end it plans to earn 11 billion birr profit.

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Ethiopia - Internet Society to engage policy makers on accessibility

October 21st, 2008

Ethiopia - Internet Society to engage policy makers on accessibility

Source: Network World

Dawit Bekele Photo

As part of its INET Africa Regional Conference in Dakar, Senegal, the Internet Society (ISOC) will hold a discussion on broad and equitable Internet access Thursday.

ISOC has targeted the conference to policy makers, as they play a crucial role in increasing Internet accessibility, noted Dawit Bekele [Ethiopia], ISOC's African Regional Bureau manager.

"Our vision for the meeting is to create a forum for policy makers to discuss this important issue with other stakeholders," Bekele said in an interview. "We believe in multi-stakeholder partnership where policy makers are a major component of the partnership."

"I believe that policy makers are increasingly aware about the Internet and its importance for Africa," he continued. "Most of them are trying to put in place Internet-friendly policies. However, this is a complex and quickly changing sector, and it is not always easy for policy makers to adapt their policies to the new environments. We believe that African policy makers need to discuss more between themselves, but also with the other stakeholders, in order to ensure better access for their citizens."

The high cost of Internet remains a challenge to accessibility, Bekele said, as a lack of both submarine cables and local competition drives up prices. Regulations, therefore, should promote competition and drive down prices while protecting the consumer, he said.

"Unfortunately, there are too many regulations that were put in place to 'protect' the incumbent operators before the wave of liberalization and that are still limiting competition even after liberalization," he said. "Regulations should favor unbundling of services so that carriers do not use their dominance on the international connectivity, for example, to monopolize the remaining services as well."

Bekele does, however, welcome the introduction of low-power computers in Africa, as they have lowered computer costs and eased one major barrier to accessibility.

The continent has also benefitted greatly from wireless technology and will probably continue to do so, he said. ISOC, however, does not endorse wireless connections over landlines, and Bekele said that each country must choose the technology that is most appropriate based on local conditions.

"There is some dynamics in the sector," he said, "but the challenges are also numerous, and Africa needs to bring together all its forces to overcome these challenges."

The IDG News Service is a Network World affiliate.

About Dawit Bekele (Ph.D)


Prior to joining ISOC, Dawit worked at Addis Ababa University on teaching and research positions in computer science, since 1994. He also established and managed for more than 4 years a private company that provides Internet related services. Moreover, in the last ten years, Dawit has worked as a consultant for major international organizations such as United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the World Bank. His activities enabled him to travel around Africa with a large number of Information and Communication Technology professionals of the continent.

Dawit is an Ethiopian citizen living in Addis Ababa. He received his undergraduate, Masters and Ph.D degrees from Université Paul Sabatier in France, all degrees in Computer Science

Ethiopia - ETC undertaking 1.5 billion dollar telecom service projects

October 9th, 2008

Ethiopia - ETC undertaking 1.5 billion dollar telecom service projects

(ENA) -
The Ethiopian Telecommunication Corporation (ETC) said it is undertaking nine telecom service projects across the nation with over 1.5 billion dollar.

At a stakeholders' consultative meeting in Adama town, ETC corporate communication manager, Abdurahim Ahmed said the projects started in 1999 E.C would be finalized next year.

The manager said over 9 million dollar construction works have so far been completed, enabling the corporation to increase number of land-line telephone subscribers by four-fold.

The corporation has 16 million* land-line telephone subscribers at present.

The projects included expansion of wireless and mobile telephone services, installation of fiber optics and expansion of internet services across the nation.

He said ETC is striving to tackle network congestions in mobile telephone and internet services of the country.

He underscored that ETC’s South-west Region is expected to improve telecom services in the area.

*Ed's Note: ENA must have got this wrong. The number may be 1.6 million, but definitely Ethiopia does not have 16 million fixed lines.

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Ethiopia - ENA's website may harm your computer

October 2nd, 2008

Ethiopia - ENA's website may harm your computer

( The official website of ENA, Ethiopia's state-run news agency, may harm your computer, that is the warning message from search engine giant Google. In fact this is not the first time that a government run website in Ethiopia had a malware (malicious software)problem. Ethiopian Herald's website used to have the same warning message. ENA has revamped its website recently and once thing I have noticed was, the page was not coming up properly in Mozilla's Firefox. When googling "Ethiopian News Agency", here is the message you will get, "This site may harm your computer." and a full page warning message from Google follows "Warning - visiting this web site may harm your computer!" Or you can continue to at your own risk

We certainly hope ENA's technical team will take a look at the problem and fix it immediately.

Ethiopia - ETC raising network capacity, blocks VOIP

September 16th, 2008

ETC raising network capacity, blocks VOIP

By Muluken Yewondwossen

Source: Capital

The Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation (ETC) has announced that mobile phone subscribers’ number will reach eight million by December 2008 including the two million SIM cards that were released in last August. Up until March 2008 there were only two million subscribers in the country.

The new system identification module (SIM) cards are to provide pre-paid services only.

According to details of the project ETC awarded the project to the Chinese telecom company Zhong Xing Telecommunication Equipment (ZTE). When completed in two years time, the number of mobile phone subscribers in the country will reach 15 million. The 1.5 billion dollar project is scheduled to be finalized in two years and includes executing various network activities in rural areas of the country.
Moreover, ETC has launched the first phase of fixed, wireless and mobile CDMA2000 network which is also installed by ZTE.

The first phase of the wireless telephone network expansion project with a capacity for 652,000 lines is completed. Most of the finance for this project is secured from the Chinese Development Bank.

It is recalled that, Junedi Sado, Minister of Transport and Communications, told journalists at a press briefing held on September 1, 2008 that the Corporation managed to block the Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP), a method that is employed to make illegal overseas calls cheaply.

“This is [done] to control illegal telephone service providers, but in the future the government plans to facilitate for these providers to become legal,” said Junedi.