Category: "ICT"

Ethiopia - ETC to offer Call Waiting and Call Forward to Mobile Subscribers

August 11th, 2008

Ethiopia - ETC to offer Call Waiting, Call Forward to Mobile Subscribers

By Kirubel Tadesse

Source: Capital

The Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation (ETC) has made two of its value added services; call waiting and call divert, available for post and pre paid mobile subscribers following the release of third generation SIM cards this week.

The Corporation released the two services without any public announcement [it had announced the re-launch of short messaging service (sms)], resulting in concern among its customers that the grant is temporary and only for trial purposes.

The release of the two services came following the launch of third generation mobile cards. During the week the Corporation also distributed pre paid mobile sim cards that were not available for months. “We have enough sim cards available, “Abdurahim Ahmed of the ETC told Capital last Friday, explaining the relief from the relative shortage seen in pre paid sim cards. Capital reporters have seen several queues in shops that are selling the cards.
The pre paid sim cards shared the market with the long awaited third generation sim cards which the corporation is selling under pilot service in forty nine selected areas in Addis Ababa. Back in September Capital had reported the launch of the 3G theologies lines which ETC last week set tariffs for. According to Abdurhaim, the current 3G network in Addis Ababa has a capacity of hosting 250,000 users but is currently limited to a small number in forty nine areas such as Bole, Olympia, Merkato and ETC headquarter.

The Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) service is expected to cover more than 625, 000 users as per the project ETC singed with China’s ZTE [additional 275 000 regional customers.] ETC visions 2.4 million customers at the end of the project. The budget allotted for the realization of this project is 644.8 million ETB.

It is after it distributes these third generation sim cards that ETC made call waiting and divert service free of charge. The Corporation used to charge 21.85 ETB for each of the two services [call waiting and divert] while it charges 34.5 ETB for the voice mail service which is not operating now. “I was told I would enjoy all the three services when I paid more than 78 ETB at the central Addis Ababa zone ETC service center, “comments a subscriber “it has been months but I still don’t have voice mail service and when I talk to the center they gave me a list of phone numbers to call and check when the service becomes available. They should do it themselves before charging for a service that apparently isn’t available.” While the call divert service gives subscribers option to redirect incoming calls to any fixed or mobile telephone, the call waiting service enables users to host two calls and registers one other call.


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Ethiopia - Internet Service Suspended in Eight Regional Towns

August 5th, 2008

Ethiopia - Internet Service Suspended in Eight Regional Towns

By Omer Redi

Addis Fortune

The state telecom monopoly, Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation (ETC), has suspended internet services in seven towns of the Oromia, Amhara and Harari regional states, as well as in Dire Dawa town.

The towns that have had internet services temporarily suspended as of July due to over subscriptions are Shashemene, Nekempte, Jimma and Adama (Nazareth) of Oromia, Dessie and Gondar of Amhara, Harar of Harari Regional State, and the entire Dire Dawa town.

A letter that Abnet Asrat, temporary general manager of Broadband Strategic Business Unit (SBU) wrote to Amare Amsalu, chief executive officer (CEO) of ETC and copied to other offices, requested the approval of the suspension of internet services to these areas. The reasons cited for the suspension are over subscription and a jammed bandwidth.

ETC has a maximum of 16 megabytes per second (mbps) link between Addis Abeba and the respective towns of Shashemene, Dessie, Dire Dawa and Adama. Harar and Gondar share the link from Dire Dawa and Bahir Dar, respectively, according to Abdurahim Ahmed, ETC corporate communication division manager.

The reason behind the selection of the mentioned towns over others is that the corporation has already reached the bandwidth limit in those towns. The recent subscription trend and feature in the towns indicate that the total average for internet and data services for three months have shown monthly subscriptions revenue of approximately less than one million Birr.

Thus, ETC will lose close to one million Birr in revenue each month till the end of the suspension, when the towns are back connected to the world. The resumption of the services requires upgrading of the transmission link between Addis Abeba and the regional towns. An ongoing expansion project that is expected to lead to the recommencement of Internet services in the eight towns, would cost more than 916,000 dollars, Abdurahim told Fortune.

The eight towns, half of which are from Oromia, including its capital, will remain disconnected for at least three months till the ongoing internet optimization project Cisco is finalized.

"It is estimated to last for twelve weeks, as per the Cisco company's plan," ETC states.

Amhara Regional State has the second highest number of the towns affected. Dessie and Gondar, where people, unaware of the latest move by ETC, will also have to experience the exasperation of seeing, "The page cannot be displayed" dialogue box on their computer screens.

Ethiopia is one of the countries where internet connectivity has not always been reliable, in sharp contrast to the high speed broadband link in developed countries where surfing the web, uploading and downloading are pleasant experiences.


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China's ZTE wins Ethiopia telecoms network deal

July 2nd, 2008

China's ZTE wins Ethiopia telecoms network deal

ZTE Corp, China's second-largest telecoms gear maker, said on Wednesday it has agreed to build a national network in Ethiopia.

The network, which will allow Ethiopia Telecommunications Corp to provide next-generation network services, will cover 14 major cities in the east African country including the capital, Addis Ababa, ZTE said in a statement.

ZTE had already won a deal last year to help ETC build an Internet protocol backbone network, the Chinese firm said.

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Ethiopia - Janora technologies obtain land for computer assembly

April 30th, 2008

Ethiopia - Janora technologies obtain land for computer assembly

By Addis Mulugeta


Janora Technology, a computer company established eight months ago here in Ethiopia, has obtained 3000 sqm of land in Bahar Dar for locally manufactured ICT goods, export ready support and implementation capacity in the effort to harness the ICT developments efforts in Ethiopia with a total capital of 20 million birr, including a government loan.
According to Bekele Gebere Medhen , one of the shareholders, who exclusively told Capital, the founders are five Ethiopians, among whom three are residing in America They have experienc of over 20 years in computer architecture, electronics hardware design and manufacture.

Bekele noted that Janora Computers has ISO 9000 standard bearing manufacturing process and state of the art software and debugging tools for QA. The highly automated inventory possess with each computer barcode tagged and tracked its service/ maintained history for many years after sale service matches the best Dell or HP desktop computer in performance at a low price.

The assembly will start in six to eight months by importing the inputs from Singapore.
At the moment, the shareholders are going to be deal with Microsoft to get a license and they are asking a plot of land here in Addis Ababa in addition to Bahar Dar for computer assembly. Their plan is not only to control the local market but assess markets in Sudan and other African countries.

After establishment this computer assembly will create jobs for more than 50 individuals. The assembly is important for TVT graduate students including, to establish their own computer maintenance in every district by using Janora brand.

Universal Internet Access in Ethiopia 3 years Later?

April 4th, 2008

Universal Internet Access in Ethiopia 3 years Later

April 4, 2008

Three years ago on April 5, 2005, Ethiopia's Prime Minister Meles Zenawi announced a plan to have Universal Internet Access in Ethiopia in 3 years. The Prime Minister was quoted as saying then "information technology lay at the heart of transforming the impoverished country where millions are dependent on foreign aid." He further said "We are fully committed to ensuring that as many of our poor as possible have this weapon that they need to fight poverty at the earliest possible time," Zenawi said. "We plan to ensure universal access and Internet connectivity to all the tens of thousands of rural kebeles (districts) of our country over the next two to three years."

"Not long ago many of us felt that we were too poor to afford to seriously invest in information and communication technology," Meles told government ministers and experts in April 2005.

He went on to say, "We were convinced that we should invest every penny we have on securing the next meal for our people. We did not believe serious investment in ICT had anything to do with facing the challenges of poverty that kills. Now I think we know better".

Fast forward three years later and Ethiopia is far from archiving Universal Internet Access. There are just 31,000 internet subscribers as of March 2007 (latest data available from ETC) according to the data posted on Ethiopia's Telecommunications Corporation website.

According to the World Bank data, Ethiopia has just 2 internet users per 1,000 people while Kenya has 32. Three years have passed since the ambitious plan by Ethiopia and the country remains one of the least developed in ICT sector.

While the country lags behind many African nations in ICT, Ethiopia has been recently named an Internet Enemy country by Reporters Without Borders. Perhaps Meles Zenawi may have changed his mind about Universal Internet Access after all.

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