Category: "ICT"

Ethiopia - The Number of Internet Users Will Jump To 12 Million

April 29th, 2010

The Number of Internet Users Will Jump To 12 Million, but Internet Subscribers Will Still Be Low at 1.4 Million at The End Of 2014 In Ethiopia

(M2 PressWIRE Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Dublin
- Research and Markets(http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/0c2ad5/ict_investment_opp) has announced the addition of the "ICT Investment Opportunities in Ethiopia - 2010" report to their offering.

Ethiopia has the lowest overall teledensity in Africa. The population is approaching 90 million, but there are less than 1 million fixed lines in service, and a little more than 3.3 million mobile subscribers. The number of internet users is dismal below 500,000 at the end of 2009. Communications service provision is reserved for the Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation (ETC), one of the few monopoly providers left on the African continent.

There are indications that the Ethiopian government will finally start to liberalise the telecommunications sector, and it has already appointed a French partner on a revenue sharing basis to assist with the management and technical operations of the incumbent ETC. Liberalisation will create a substantial set of investment opportunities in the ICT sector. It is expected that the liberalisation agenda will include allowing competition into the mobile segment. Key uncertainties are the timing and scale of liberalisation that will take place, but it is widely recognised that before the country sees any of the benefits widespread communications access, it will need to allow the private sector to take a prominent role in developing the market.

By 2014 the number of fixed line subscribers in Ethiopia is expected to increase to 4.4 million, representing an annual average growth rate of 38% p.a. The number of mobile subscribers is expected to grow at 43% per year over the period, reaching almost 20 million by 2014. Even at these high growth levels the overall teledensity will be less than 25% in 2014, indicating that the market will be nowhere near saturation. The number of internet users will jump to 12 million, but internet subscribers will still be low at 1.4 million at the end of 2014. Ethiopia presents an opportunity for investors to reap vast returns as the liberalisation agenda gets underway.

In this report we provide a comprehensive analysis of propsects for investment in ICTs in Ethiopia. Forecasts are provided for mobile, fixed and internet usage. Investment opportunities are identified.

Executive Summary: The Ethiopian telecommunications liberalization agenda sets framework for growth and investment The telecommunications market in Ethiopia is on the verge of massive growth, leading to a wide range of investment opportunities in telecommunications and downstream information and communications technology (ICT) segments, according to a new study published by Technology Strategies International in partnership with BroadGroup TMT Ventures. The report, titled Investment Opportunities in the ICT Sector in Ethiopia: 2010, predicts that by 2011 the state-owned incumbent, the Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation (ETC) will have a privatisation timetable in place, and that liberalisation of the mobile market will take place shortly after that.

The Ethiopian Government recognizes that the country is being left behind in terms of digital inclusion, and urgently needs to address this if it wants to reap the benefits that other African countries have demonstrated from embracing ICTs, notes Christie Christelis, President of Technology Strategies International. It may also become an important political issue in the next elections.

While the Ethiopian Government is on record saying that it will not hasten the liberalization process, and will not succumb to pressure from the international community to liberalize its banking and telecommunications sectors in order to accede to the WTO, Christelis believes that there is neither any reason for, nor any benefit from delaying the process further.

Liberalization of the telecommunications environment will create a raft of ICT investment opportunities in Ethiopia, Christelis says. The Chinese have already recognized the potential of Ethiopia and are building an electronics manufacturing facility to address the high growth expected in demand for handsets and accessories. They are also providing supplier financing in certain telecommunications investments in order to address the shortage of domestic capital.

The report predicts that over the next five years the number of mobile subscribers in Ethiopia will grow at an annual rate of 43% (CAGR), to reach almost 20 million subscribers by 2014.

Christelis says that Ethiopia will provide a range of excellent investment opportunities for foreign investors interested in the ICT sector, but warns that the window will not be open indefinitely. He predicts that the next four years will be critical in shaping the Ethiopian ICT sectors future and will provide high return opportunities for foreign investors that have the risk tolerance, and ability, to capitalize on the coming surge in ICT-related markets.

The 37 page report provides a comprehensive review, analysis and forecast of investment opportunities in the ICT sector in Ethiopia. It analyses the investment environment in Ethiopia and in identifies key providers of capital. It highlights growth segments in the Ethiopian telecommunications market in the context of important developments in the economy and in the political environment. Detailed forecasts are presented for fixed line communications, mobile communications and internet usage. Specific investment opportunities are identified and categorized in terms of scale of investment.

Ethiopia - Taskforce Proposes to lift Mobile Phone Tax

April 17th, 2010

Ethiopia - Ethiopia - Taskforce Proposes to lift Mobile Phone Tax

A task force established by the Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation (ETC) proposed to the Ethiopian government to lift the tax levied on mobile phones, Reporter said.

Even though ETC is expanding its internet and mobile network services it is unable to attract adequate number of customers. The corporation’s mobile network will soon be able to accommodate 15 million customers. However, it now has only five million mobile subscribers. Ethiopia’s mobile penetration rate stands at five percent while sub-Saharan African penetration rate is 39 percent.

To improve the situation the ETC established a task force that comprises experts drawn from the corporation, ETA, Revenue and Customs Authority, Glorious, Bravocom, Sima and Reem. The task force conducted a study that would enable ETC to boost the number of customers. The task force submitted a 40-page study paper to the corporation, ETA, Revenue and Customs Authority, and Ministry of Transport and Communications two month ago.

The task force submitted the proposal to the Prime Minister's Office on March 6. The study points out that low per capita income, cost of ownership, and customs duty were the reasons for the low ICT penetration rate.


Read Full Report from Reporter

Ethiopia - New bank branches delayed by network

April 13th, 2010

Ethiopia - New bank branches delayed by network

By Binyam Tamene

Capital

Ethiopia Telecommunications Corporation's (ETC) failure to offer efficient services, especially broadband Internet, is limiting banking services in Addis Ababa to the point where banks are postponing opening new branches in Addis, Capital has learnt. The Ethiopian banking system is heavily dependent on the state-owned ETC to perform transactions and connect branches to their main office.

One bank, who wished to remain anonymous, says it has had to wait a long time for the networks to become available. If they are not made available, it will delay its plan to open branches in the peripheral areas of the city.
The recurrent problem of system downfall has meant banks without the broadband service having to work manually, limiting services to customers.

The banks use Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) with copper cables and wireless access to network their branches to their main offices. But they say the broadband sometimes fail for what ETC describes as "base station saturated" reasons. This kind of problem usually appears on the edges of the city.
Amerga Kassa, President of Nib Bank, said this led it to try to shift to a wireless service, but this has a problem too.
"When we ask for the wireless service, the corporation gives us the reason that equipment is not available," he said.
Though the private banks have praised some of the recent changes made by ETC, the broadband connection has not been reliable.
"This makes our customers not get their money on time," he explained.
Amerga expressed hope that the service will improve with the new network that the corporation signed with Seacom for the procurement of international fibre optic bandwidth connectivity through a submarine fibre communication system via Djibouti at a total cost of 47 million dollars.
The bank wants the network problems to be resolved before the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) introduces a core banking system. Through this connection, NBE plans to conduct gross settlement system, national clearing and automatic check clearing system.
Las month, ETC has made a surprise announcement that it will increase the capacity of broadband Internet in Ethiopia by 445 percent.
Currently, a trial of the international broadband fibre connection through Djibouti is being conducted. The connection is owned by Seacom, a Mauritian company.
Although it had been known that negotiations between ETC and Seacom had been ongoing for over two years, it was not expected that an agreement would result in the extra capacity being delivered within such a short space of time.
At the time of the announcement, Amare Amsalu, CEO of ETC, stated confidently that a new IT chapter for Ethiopia is about to begin, as the enhancement of international connection capacity is expected to support fast, reliable and high bandwidth connectivity.
The new connection was supposed to be active on Thursday, April 8, but Capital was unable to find out from ETC the state of the new link.

Ethiopia Telecom Liberalization Agenda Sets Framework for Growth and Investment

March 23rd, 2010

Ethiopian Telecommunications Liberalization Agenda Sets Framework for Growth and Investment

Source: cellular-news.com

The telecommunications market in Ethiopia is on the verge of massive growth, leading to a wide range of investment opportunities in telecommunications and downstream information and communications technology (ICT) segments, according to a new study published by Technology Strategies International in partnership with BroadGroup TMT Ventures. The report predicts that by 2011 the state-owned incumbent, the Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation (ETC) will have a privatisation timetable in place, and that liberalisation of the mobile market will take place shortly after that.

"The Ethiopian Government recognizes that the country is being left behind in terms of digital inclusion, and urgently needs to address this if it wants to reap the benefits that other African countries have demonstrated from embracing ICTs," notes Christie Christelis, President of Technology Strategies International. "It may also become an important political issue in the next elections."

While the Ethiopian Government is on record saying that it will not hasten the liberalization process, and will not succumb to pressure from the international community to liberalize its banking and telecommunications sectors in order to accede to the WTO, Christelis believes that there is neither any reason for, nor any benefit from delaying the process further.

"Liberalization of the telecommunications environment will create a raft of ICT investment opportunities in Ethiopia," Christelis says. "The Chinese have already recognized the potential of Ethiopia and are building an electronics manufacturing facility to address the high growth expected in demand for handsets and accessories. They are also providing supplier financing in certain telecommunications investments in order to address the shortage of domestic capital."

The report predicts that over the next five years the number of mobile subscribers in Ethiopia will grow at an annual rate of 43% (CAGR), to reach almost 20 million subscribers by 2014.

Christelis added that Ethiopia will provide a range of excellent investment opportunities for foreign investors interested in the ICT sector, but warns that the window will not be open indefinitely. He predicts that the next four years will be critical in shaping the Ethiopian ICT sector's future and will provide high return opportunities for foreign investors that have the risk tolerance, and ability, to capitalize on the coming surge in ICT-related markets.

Ethiopia Telecom to increase broadband capacity by more than four fold

March 23rd, 2010

Ethiopia Telecom to increase broadband capacity by more than four fold

The Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation (ETC) has made a surprise announcement that on April 8 it will increase the capacity of broadband internet in Ethiopia by 445 percent. Currently, a trial of the international broadband fiber connection through Djibouti is being conducted. The connection is owned by Seacom, a Mauritian company.

Although it had been known that negotiations between ETC and Seacom had been ongoing for over two years, it was not expected that an agreement would result in the extra capacity being delivered within such a short space of time.

Amare Amsalu, CEO of ETC, stated confidently that a new IT chapter for Ethiopia is about to begin, as the enhancement of international connection capacity is expected to support fast, reliable and high bandwidth connectivity.

At the signing ceremony held last Thursday, March 18 between ETC and Seacom for the procurement of international fibre optic bandwidth connectivity through submarine fiber communication, Amare told journalists that the corporation will provide a 20 STM-1 (3,100 megabytes per second [mbps] ) internet service for the public as of April 8. The existing capacity delivered by ETC from optical fibre, microwave and satellite is only 897.1 mbps

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