Tue. Sep 26th, 2023
Ethio Telecom: Profits, 5G Rollout, and New Licences

State-owned operator Ethio Telecom is experiencing significant developments as the government prepares to sell a stake in the company. Ethio Telecom had initially planned to offer a 40% stake to foreign investors but later increased it to 45%. However, the exact timing of the sale is still uncertain.

In July, Ethio Telecom announced that its annual profits had doubled, marking a successful period for the company. Two major developments have further contributed to its success.

Firstly, Ethio Telecom has rolled out commercial 5G services in Addis Ababa. Following trials in the capital city and Adama, the regional capital of Oromia, the company has commercialized its 5G service at 145 different sites. It is now ready to offer unlimited 5G data, 5G to the home, and various 5G mobile packages to its customers.

Secondly, Ethio Telecom will be teaming up with Israeli satellite tech firm, Gilat, to upgrade its satellite infrastructure. Gilat’s SkyEdge II-c VSAT network platform and hundreds of Capricorn and Gemini VSATs will be utilized to enhance 4G backhaul and enterprise communications in remote regions.

Meanwhile, the Ethiopian Communications Authority has extended the deadline for new entrants to submit initial documents for consideration for a third national mobile license. The extension was granted in response to requests from potential applicants who needed more time. The new deadline is set for 6 October. The search for a third operator has had its challenges, with MTN Group previously bidding in 2021 but being rejected due to offering a low bid. The regulator decided to restart the process.

Overall, Ethio Telecom’s increased profits, 5G rollout, and its collaboration with Gilat for satellite infrastructure upgrades showcase the company’s continued growth and development in the Ethiopian telecommunications market.