Ethio Telecom selects Huawei for 4G in Addis Ababa

Ethiopian state-owned operator Ethio Telecom has selected Huawei to roll out a 4G network across the national capital, Addis Ababa.

The service is part of a $1.6 billion deal signed between July and August between Ethio Telecom, Huawei and ZTE Corporation to expand mobile services across the country.

“Huawei will be responsible for the expansion of 4G in Addis Ababa, including other mobile services such as 2G, 3G and IP,” said Abdurahim Ahmed, Ethio Telecom’s head of communications.

“It is expected to benefit more than 400,000 subscribers. Within an eight-month period, the expansion project of Addis Ababa, including 4G, will be completed.”

The deals with ZTE and Huawei were signed earlier this year, but the allocation plan was finalised on Wednesday this week.

By 2015, the companies are aiming to increase the number of subscribers in Ethiopia by more than 50 million and expand 3G across the country. Huawei and ZTE will split the roll-out across 13 expansion areas.

Ethio Telecom is among one of the last operators that has maintained a state monopoly in telecoms on the continent.

The government has said it has no plans to liberalise the sector, claiming the company generates up to $321 million each year to help funding for railway projects in the country.

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