Category: "ICT"

Ethiopia ranked 119th in Global Tech Study

March 28th, 2007

Ethiopia ranked 119th in Global Tech Study

Ethiopia is ranked number 119 in its ability to exploit information and communication technology, according to a new survey from the World Economic Forum out of 122 countries surveyed. Ethiopia is followed by Angola, Burundi and Chad respectively in the rankings. In the last survey, Ethiopia was ranked dead last at number 115 out of 115 countries. On the latest survey, Ethiopia fared better than Chad which now claims the last place.

In April 2005, Prime Minster Meles Zenawi promised to launch universal internet access in Ethiopia in 3 years. With 1 year to go in the plan, universal internet access in Ethiopia is still a dream.

In October 2004, leather exporter Girma Hagos reads the news on the Internet in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
(ANTHONY MITCHELL ©APWWP)

Top 10
1. Denmark
2. Sweden
3. Singapore
4. Finland
5. Switzerland
6. Netherlands
7. US
8. Iceland
9. UK
10.Norway

Bottom 10

113 Cameroon
114 Paraguay
115 Mozambique
116 Lesotho
117 Zimbabwe
118 Bangladesh
119 Ethiopia
120 Angola
121 Burundi
122 Chad


Source:
World Economic Forum

About the Survey

Source: World Economic Forum

Since it was first launched in 2001, The Global Information Technology Report has become a valuable and unique benchmarking tool to determine national ICT strengths and weaknesses, and to evaluate progress. It also highlights the continuing importance of ICT application and development for economic growth.

The Report uses the Networked Readiness Index (NRI) to measure the degree of preparation of a nation or community to participate in and benefit from ICT developments. The NRI is composed of three component indexes which assess:
- environment for ICT offered by a country or community
- readiness of the community's key stakeholders (individuals, business and governments)
- usage of ICT among these stakeholders.

From AP
U.S. Loses Top Spot in Global Tech Study

GENEVA (AP)
- European countries and Singapore have surpassed the United States in their ability to exploit information and communication technology, according to a new survey.

The United States, which topped the World Economic Forum's "networked readiness index" in 2006, slipped to seventh. The study, out Wednesday, largely blamed increased political and corporate interference in the judicial system.

The index, which measures the range of factors that affect a country's ability to harness information technologies for economic competitiveness and development, also cited the United States' low rate of mobile telephone usage, a lack of government leadership in information technology and the low quality of math and science education.

But Thierry Geiger, one of the Forum's economists responsible for the 361-page report, said the U.S. market environment remains the best in the world in terms of how easy it is to set up a business, get loans and have access to market capital.

Nordic countries _ traditionally strong in all surveys conducted by the Geneva-based Forum _ dominated the top of the rankings. Denmark edged Sweden for the top spot, while Finland was behind in fourth.

Singapore, which topped the poll in 2005, was the top Asian nation in third. Rounding out the top 10 were Switzerland, fifth; Netherlands, sixth; Iceland, eighth; Britain, ninth; and Norway, 10th.

The report covered 122 countries, with Chad, Burundi, Angola, Ethiopia and Bangladesh at the bottom

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Ethiopia - ETC, ZTE strike $1.5 bln loan

March 12th, 2007

ETC, ZTE strike $1.5 bln loan

By Groum Abate

Capital

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
The Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation (ETC), has signed a 1.5 billion dollar loan with the Chinese ZTE for the upgrading of its telephone network.
Ethiopia installs fiber optic telecom service
ETC in September 2006, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with three Chinese telecom companies; ZTE Corporation, Huawei Technologies Co and Chinese International Telecommunication Construction Corporation (CITCC), to undertake expansion projects worth 1.5 billion dollars, effective for four years.

According to the quarterly magazine of the corporation, Tele Negarit, ETC struck the loan deal for a staggering 1.5 billion dollars from ZTE in November at the Sino-Africa Forum held in China.

The corporation has devised a scheme whereby telecom equipment suppliers will make use of this opportunity and arrange a vendor financing scheme so that they can supply goods and services as may be required by projects.
When the project is completed, the present 4,000 kms long optical fibre deployment will reach 10, 000kms, the prevailing mobile network expansion capacity of 1.5mln will reach 7 mln with 3- G high mobile Technology, (‘Third generation mobile’ which is equipped with image, internet and other accessories with soft switches).

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The present telecom service coverage to rural kebele villages through wireless phones will reach 10,000 from the present 5, 000 and that of the fixed telephone network from 1 mln to 4 mln.

The Chinese investment forms part of a 2.4 bln dollar plan by the Ethiopian government to improve the country’s telecoms inrastructure.

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Ethiopia installs fiber optic telecom service

March 10th, 2007

Ethiopia installs fiber optic telecom service

Sat Mar 10, 2007 1:52 PM GMT143

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters)
- Ethiopia has installed a new $68 million fiber-optic network to boost international communication flows and lower costs, an official at state-owned Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation (ETC) said on Saturday.
Ethiopia installs fiber optic telecom service
The fiber optic system will cost the country $100,000 per month, compared with the monthly $150,000 Ethiopia was paying for satellite operations, ETC spokesman Abdurahim Ahmed said.

"As of February 2007, data, images, voice mail and internet networks are being communicated through the newly installed fiber-optic network that connects Ethiopia to the international system through neighboring Sudan," he told Reuters.

Business leaders say the high cost of telecommunications in Africa is an impediment to investment in the world's poorest continent, where Internet traffic often travels over creaking satellite connections.

Abdurahim said because the Horn of Africa country was landlocked, it had to depend on the goodwill of neighbour Sudan for international connectivity.

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The network stretches over 983 kms (610 miles) on Ethiopian territory and merges with Sudan's Sudatel at the border town of Gedarif.

ETC currently provides 900,000 landlines and has 1.1 million mobile lines. Abdurahim said the potential for expansion in the country of 75 million was unlimited.

Ethiopia has been connected to the international telecommunication network since 1987 through a satellite earth station in Sululta some 30 kms north of Addis Ababa.

The station does not have the capacity to handle the growing volume of information communication flows, Abdurahim said.

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Ethiopia - Mobiles to go Abesha

March 5th, 2007

Mobiles to go Abesha

By Andualem Sisay

Capital

Addis Ababa Ethiopia -
When technologies transfer from one country to another, they need to be adopted to the extent that they benefit the majority of the people.
Unfortunately, due to various reasons, some technologies are directly imposed without taking into consideration the limitations of the recipient society to fully utilize the technology.

Photo: Media Ethiopia

The mobile phone is among the technologies that have been directly transferred to Ethiopia. As the majority of the people of the country are not familiar with the English language or other languages that are used on mobile phones, we observe many people can’t do a routine operation like save a friends name and number.

Such problems led Abraham Tsegaye and his team comprising of Solomon Worku and Daniel Adbib to write a mobile phone operating system in Amharic, as their Bsc Degree final graduation project.

“Because of the language barrier, many people in our area and the majority of Ethiopians do not properly understand the English menus on their cell phones,” says Abraham. “What we did was to figure out how we can solve the problem.”

It is this intention that led them to the idea of using Motorola’s Symbian operating system software. With in a three month period of the project time set by the HiLCoE school of Computer Science and Information Technology, Abraham and his team develop at 200 characters on the nine keys of a Motorola apparatus.

Using Amharic language characters, they were able to develop phone book, message and phone settings in Amharic.

“Our progress to go this far with limited resources as students made us view this project seriously and push on until we see our people use this product,” says Solomon. “Therefore, with an interested partner who is willing to invest on the realization of the need for Amharic mobile menu software and with consultation we have started with Nokia, we will soon be able to provide this product to the market.”

According to Solomon, they are looking for a partner who is willing to provide them with the necessary equipment to finalize their research and develop their first fully compatible Amharic mobile phone operating system using Symbian.

In addition, they are also looking forward to consulting and sharing experiences with individuals who have developed Amharic software and to continue discussions with Nokia.

According to recent information obtained from Ethiopian Telecommunication Corporation, which is the sole telephone service provider in the country, there are more than 1,030,000 mobile phone subscribers.

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Ethiopia - ETC in row with SIM card subcontractors

March 5th, 2007

Ethiopia - ETC in row with SIM card subcontractors

By Tedla Yeneakal

Capital

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia -
The Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation (ETC) is engaged in a heated row with private companies which are subcontractors of mobile SIM cards, after the latter claimed that ETC is not giving them enough cards for sale, thereby failing to meet high demand.

Photo: Media Ethiopia

A SIM card retailer who requested anonymity, told Capital that the Corporation has stopped giving them the SIM cards and is undertaking the sales of the cards on its own.

“We have not been able to benefit from the eight percent commission out of the SIMs that we sell,” the retailer said. “ETC is carrying out the sales and preventing us from gaining profit out of the commission from the ever increasing demand for SIM cards.”

ETC’s management passed a decision in 2004 to outsource its mobile SIM card sales to focus on infrastructure development in the sector. Six private companies have initially been selling the cards for a price of 443.10 Br and then reduced it to 363.10 Br

Abdurahim Ahmed, Corporate Communication Division Manager of ETC on his part told Capital that the Corporation is undertaking the phase of network optimization and is evaluating the radio frequency to avoid congestion problems.

He defended the Corporation’s stance that it is undertaking SIM card sales to protect its customers, as some retailers have charged extra amount of money to benefit from the shortage of cards.

“We have reduced the amount of SIM cards that we give to the retailers to optimize the network and regulate its operations,” Abdurahim said. “Mobile networks work with radio frequency. It is not like the landline that once installed, does not need any network evaluation.”

The six private companies have been distributing SIM cards to more than 1,000 points of sales and in addition, there are also more than 2,000 shops and kiosks that sell outsourced mobile cards in Addis Ababa.
ETC now has more than 829,000 landline telephones and 1,030,000 mobile subscribers. Until February 2007, tele-denisity in the country was 1.03 lines per 100 people.

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