Category: "ICT"

Ethiopia has Africa's lowest Mobile Phones per 1000 people

November 15th, 2007

Ethiopia - Information and Communication Technology Indicator

Source: World Bank Africa Development Indicator 2007

Ethiopia has 8.6 landlines per 1,000 people and 5.8 mobile phones per 1,000 people, the lowest rate in Africa, according to the latest Africa Development Indicator 2007 report from the World Bank. Just 4.4% of households have their own telephone, the number is higher in the urban area with 35.3% of households have their own telephone. In rural areas the percentage of households with a telephone is 0.2%, despite the government's claim of expanding services in the rural areas as one of the reasons of not privatizing the teleocm sector.

The average delay for firms obtaining a mainline telephone connection in Ethiopia is 154.9 days, while in Senegal it takes just 12 days.

There are just 2.3 internet users per 1000 people in Ethiopia, one of the lowest level in Africa. In April 2005, Meles Zenawi, Prime Minister of Ethiopia, declared for a universal internet access in three years. We are just under 6 month away from getting a universal internet access , if we were to believe Meles Zenawi.

Here is what P.M. Meles Zenawi said in April 2005

"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.

"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," he added.

Read more here

No Private Telecom operator in Ethiopia at least until 2010

October 30th, 2007

No Private Telecom operator in Ethiopia at least until 2010

Ethiopia will not issue new mobile licenses to private investors until 2010 once a new $1.5 billion infrastructure roll out is complete, the minister for communications told Reuters on Tuesday.


  • Ethiopia will not issue new mobile licenses to private investors until 2010 once a new $1.5 billion infrastructure roll out is complete
  • 85 percent of the country under mobile phone coverage once the fiber optic network is completed
  • Increase the fiber optic network to 14,000km from the current 4,000km
  • Install 65,000 public phones throughout the country
  • Increase the mobile and fixed-line subscriber base to over 10 million by 2010 from the current 3.6 million
  • Ethiopia to spend $1.5 billion in telecom investment

Read complete story from Reuters and Have Your Say

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Is Universal Access the real reason why the government is not keen towards privatization as Juneydi Sado, a man with no background in Telecoms, alluded to? Or is it because the government is control freak?

What is your take? Have Your Say

Ethiopia to expand telecom service for $1.2 Billion

October 19th, 2007

ETC set to expand telecom service with 10.6 billion Birr this year

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (ENA)
- The Ethiopian Telecommunication Corporation (ETC) announced plans to expand various telecom services across the country at a cost of 10.6 billion Birr during the current Ethiopian budget year. It said all rural towns in Ethiopia would get access to telephone service by the year.

ETC Corporate Communication General Manager, Abdurahim Ahmed told ENA on Thursday that the corporation would execute various projects to expand mobile and fixed line telephone services, Broadband, internet, broadband multimedia and rural telephone services in the country.

He said expansion of School-Net project service channels to 12 for as well as increasing the number of Woreda-Net service stations are some of the activities to be executed in the budget year.

Abdurahim said installation of some 1.2 million regular telephone lines would carried out, while 50,000 telephone subscribers would enjoy additional telecom services during the stated period.

Moreover, the corporation has plans to install three million mobile telephone service lines and to offer additional services to 100,000 mobile telephone subscribers, he said.

ETC has also plans to provide the internet service to 50,000 new subscribers.

Abdurahim said ETC will sign agreement with 108 foreign companies for the expansion of roaming service coverage.

Some 5,000 public phones would be installed across the nation, he said, while 45 schools would benefit from the school-net project.

ETC is currently making utmost efforts in a bid to increase customer satisfaction to 75 percent through expanding telecom infrastructures as well as meeting quality standards in the sector.

Abdurahim said ETC has already launched activities targeted at making all rural areas beneficiaries of wireless telephone service during the period reported.

Ethiopia - Nokia launches Amharic-based mobile phones

September 25th, 2007 has contacted Nokia to confirm the launch of Amharic based Mobile Phones in Ethiopia and below is the press release and picture from Nokia. thanks Nokia for its prompt response to our inquiry.

Ethiopia - Nokia launches Amharic-based mobile phones

At an event held in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, mobile phone giant Nokia launched the first handsets to feature Amharic. The launch, which coincides with the millennium celebrations, also marked Nokia’s first official product introduction in Ethiopia and saw the announcement of its authorised Nokia distributor, Glorious PLC.

A Nokia Phone with Ethiopic Characters. Photo sent to by Nokia

“I think that ‘localisation’ is the key word at this event,” says Piotr Labuszewski, area manger for Nokia in East Africa. “Nokia is world renowned for being the global leader in mobile phones, but it is only through understanding and tailoring products for local consumers that we have managed to achieve this. Not only are we launching five new devices, but all five are equipped with an industry first in the Amharic keypad. Added to this exciting launch, we are also gearing our local operations with a new distributor and customer care center,” continues Labuszewski. All handsets purchased from the authorised distributor and retailers in Ethiopia carry a 12 month warranty.

The new products announced at the event are the Nokia 1200, 1208, 1650, 2630 and 2760, which all have industry-leading features and applications specifically designed for markets such as Ethiopia.

“Nokia was the first handset manufacturer to launch local languages in countries like South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Mozambique and the launch of the Amharic-based devices will further enhance the convenience for the Ethiopian market. We have seen the benefits of adding local languages across the continent and we expect similar results here in Ethiopia,” concludes Labuszewski.

Nokia 1200 and 1208

The Nokia 1200 and 1208 come equipped with features such as one-touch flashlights, localised languages, a teaching mode that allows non-experienced users to quickly learn how to master the phone, while a seamless keypad protects the phone from dust, another reality of rural mobile phone use. Both models also come with five available phonebooks so it is possible for an entire family to share a phone. The Nokia 1200 phone is offered with a monochrome screen, while the Nokia 1208 features a colour VGA screen.

Nokia 1650

This phone is designed to deliver a wide range of mobile features; the contemporary Nokia 1650 phone offers an aspirational design and practical features to help consumers balance their personal and professional lives. The Nokia 1650 also comes equipped with a flashlight, music-on-the-go via FM radio and MP3-grade ring tones and with an integrated application that allows for a pre-set time limit to be set for each call, the Nokia 1650 answers the need for cost control that is especially important in entry markets.

Nokia 2630

At a mere 9.9 mm, the Nokia 2630 is the thinnest handset in Nokia’s portfolio. Complete with an easy-to-use camera and combined with Bluetooth technology, the Nokia 2630 allows images to be easily sent, shared, stored and printed. Convenient productivity tools such as email, MMS, calendar and a calculator satisfy the work side of life, while features such as an FM radio, with direct access shortcut key and MP3 ring tones satisfy the entertainment side.

Nokia 2760

The stylish Nokia 2760 features a digital camera, giving many consumers their first experience with digital photography, and Bluetooth technology to make it easy to share the photos that they capture. The Nokia 2760 also features video recording, video playback, and FM radio. The combination of Bluetooth and GPRS creates a convenient way to access email and Internet. It also features extra large storage to save up to 1000 contacts in the phonebook. Consumers who want to save special text messages to share with friends and family will be delighted by its large capacity for storing SMS messages.

About Nokia

Nokia is the world leader in mobility, driving the transformation and growth of the converging Internet and communications industries. Nokia makes a wide range of mobile devices and provides people with experiences in music, navigation, video, television, imaging, games and business mobility through these devices. Nokia also provides equipment, solutions and services for communications networks. More information about Nokia is available at

For further press information, please contact:
Dorothy Ooko
Communications Manager
Nokia South and East Africa
Tel: + 254 (20) 386 2243

Emily Kaiga
Account Director
Tell-Em Public Relations
Tel: + 254 (20) 375 5638
Mobile: + 254 (20) 735 726 755

For further information, consumers can contact the following authorized distributor:
Glorious Pvt. Ltd Co
Churchill Rd.
Kirkos Sub City, K01, #287/03/01
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
251 11 551 3482, 251 11 155 1677

Ethiopia - ZTE To Supply US$478 Million Telecom Gear to ETC

September 19th, 2007

Ethiopia - ZTE To Supply US$478 Million Telecom Gear to ETC

ZTE To Supply US$478 Million Telecom Gear, Services To Ethiopian Telecom

HONG KONG -(Dow Jones)-
Chinese telecommunications equipment and network supplier ZTE Corp. (0763.HK) said late Wednesday it signed an agreement to provide US$478 million worth of mobile network equipment and related engineering services to Ethiopian Telecommunication Corp.

The network equipment will run on the Global System for Mobile communications, or GSM, standard, ZTE said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange.

The contract, signed Sunday, is expected to be completed in two years.

-By Jonathan Li and Amy Or, Dow Jones Newswires; 852-2832 2335; amy.or@

(END) Dow Jones Newswires


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