ADDIS ABABA, EthiopiaMar 21, 2015 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Anadolu Agency
Mar 21, 2015 12:00 am
Ethopia's state owned Ethio telecom launched 4G connectivity within Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa on Saturday, after finishing a trial period which started three months ago.
"[The] 4G network service is the latest and fastest version of third generation network service (3G), which is a fresh technology in the world," Communication and Information Technology Minister Debretsion Gebremichael said at a press conference to launch the new service.
"The 4G broadband network service shows a significant improvement in the sector and satisfy customers who seek updated technology," Gebremichael said.
Ethio telecom has installed the 4G network service without affecting the infrastructure of 3G and other mobile services, the minister said.
One year has lapsed since Ethio telcom embarked on an expansion plan to extend its services to the rest of the country, which have seen success in Addis Ababa.
Ethio telecom has signed deals worth $1.6 billion with renowned global telecommunication firms, namely Huawei, Ericson and ZTE, to scale up its 3G network service across the country, the minister said.
"Once the project of 3G installation is finalized, the country will see 85 percent of network coverage," Gebremichael added.
China's Huawei will handle the development of telecom infrastructure in the country's northern region, while Ericson and ZTE will manage the development in the southern one.
Work in both regions is scheduled to be finalized by next June, according to the minister.
Gebremichael said Ethiopia plans to expand 4G network service to regional states at fair and adjustable prices.
Ethio telcom CEO Andualem Admassie, for his part, said that the country has invested millions of dollars to introduce the 4G network service in order to meet the increasing demand for the latest network versions.
With the launch of the service in Addis Ababa, customers will get access to latest technology, Admassie said.
Touted as Ethiopia's "cash cow," Ethio telecom generated nearly $1.5 billion revenue over the past 8 months.