Huawei signs contract with Ethiopia for 3G and 4G

26 July 2013 | Natasha Culzac


Huawei is expanding its African foothold after signing a $700million agreement with Ethiopia to provide its capital, Addis Ababa, with 4G networking and a 3G service countrywide.

In a move that will help the East African nation develop its mobile broadband infrastructure and services, and which will also build on Huawei’s presence already there, it is hoped that its growing economy will be boosted by, as Reuters reports, an extra 56 million subsequent subscribers.

Debretsion Gebremichael, Ethiopia's deputy prime minister and minister of communications and technology said: “Although our target is 40 million, now including 3G it will be 56 million by 2015. That would be the capacity.”

Though Huawei signed its agreement yesterday, it actually makes up only half of the money required for such a huge roll-out. The second half of the $1.6 billion project will come from ZTE, China’s second-largest telecoms equipment maker.

Last year, for the first time, Ethiopian authorities allowed private telecoms firms the ability to provide non-voice services in the country, while voice was still controlled and maintained by the state-run Ethio Telecom.