Ethiopia is among the last countries in Africa to be able to allow the national Telco the monopoly on all the telecom services including the fixed, the mobile internet as well as the data communications. For very many years, the Ethio Telecom’s monopolistic control have stifled innovation, well-restricted network growth and the limited scope of services on offer. However, the management contract with the Orange Group improved the company’s performance, though there have remained weaknesses in the quality of services. This contract was considered to be the first step towards the sector privatization and introduction of the competition, and despite government for very many years rejecting the call to develop along these lines, giving reasons for the need for very high profits from company to be able to subsidize the unrelated projects, there has been a shift in the mid-2018 with the plans to be able to sell the stake in the telco as part of the wider economic freedom.
There has been a huge investment in the telecoms services, the infrastructure as well as service expansionprojects in recent years. The Ethio Telecom has been able to secure the network monitoring platform to aid in improving services, and this has also revised plans to be able to launch the telecom satellite while the government has been able to propose the building the billion cities of technology. However, this sector has remained heavily and well regulated, and the government has overall control over the networks with the virtually unlimited access to call records of all the phone users and to the logs of the internet traffic. Majority of technologies deployed have offered by the ZTE and the Huawei that have often been preferred for providing the vendor financing.
Despite the major vendor contracts focused at enhancing reach as well as capabilities of the mobile networks, the country’s mobile penetration remains to be among the lowest in Africa. Regardless, growth has been strong, and the considerable growth potential remains. The policies have had guidance by government Development as well as the Transformational Plan. Country’s broadband market has developed further allowing the substantial growth in the international bandwidth, the improvements in the national fiber backbone infrastructure as well as the development of the mobile broadband services via the 3G as well as the LTE networks. After several years of low uptake as a result of the prohibitive pricing and the retail prices, have now been comparable to the other more developed, markets in this region.
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