Ethiopian incumbent Ethio Telecom announced the availability of 4G in six new areas and plans to launch in a swathe of other locations in the coming months, an apparent preparation for increased competition in the nation’s mobile market.
New towns to receive 4G so far in February are Adama, Bishoftu, Mojo, Dukem, Gelan and Awash Melkasa.
Ethio Telecom equipment partner ZTE noted other major urban hubs would be covered within three months, Xinhua News Agency, reported.
ZTE added 4G was only available in the country’s capital city Addis Ababa until “recently”.
Ethio Telecom said expansion of the technology in regional towns was among its “major strategic initiatives” and called on companies to capitalise on the opportunity “by providing useful content and affordable handsets, and join hands in realising digital inclusion which paves the way for [the] digital economy”.
The news comes as would-be rivals prepare bids for one of two new licences set to be issued by Ethiopia’s regulator as part of attempts to increase competition.
It has been widely reported the country could require new entrants to lease infrastructure from Ethio Telecom, potentially allowing them to offer 4G in the new areas at launch.
However, with the deadline for new entrant applications still over a month away, Ethio Telecom would still have a significant head start on provision of improved data services.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back