Business

Safaricom switches on its telecommunication network in Ethiopia

Thursday, October 6th, 2022 12:46 | By
Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa during Safaricom Ethiopia launch
Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa during Safaricom Ethiopia launch. PHOTO/ Courtesy

Safaricom Ethiopia has switched on its mobile telecommunications network and services in Addis Ababa, the country’s capital.

This is after the company was granted a nationwide full-service Unified Telecommunications Service Licence, which will pitch the telco in a competitive space against Ethio Telecom, which is state-owned.  

"We have deepened digital and financial inclusion in Kenya by connecting people to people, people to opportunities and people to information. With these lessons and experiences, we look forward to positively impacting the people of Ethiopia with a sustainable and quality mobile network that will be a vital launch pad for nationwide digital telecommunications services to over 118 million Ethiopians," Peter Ndegwa, CEO of Safaricom PLC, said.

Safaricom Ethiopia’s 2G, 3G and 4G mobile services will available in 11 cities including the capital and the country’s second-largest city Dire Dawa. The company plans to launch services in a total of 25 cities by April 2023 to meet the 25% population coverage obligation in its licence.

“We are excited to be part of this highly experienced international consortium, with a strong vision to advance Ethiopia’s inclusive digital society, with clear goals to deliver greater prospects for education, jobs and prosperity,” Nick Read, CEO of Vodafone Group, said.

Safaricom Ethiopia infrastructure

Safaricom Ethiopia is building a wholly-owned mobile network and also has infrastructure sharing and interconnection agreements in place with Ethio Telecom.

“Ubiquitous network connectivity will positively transform the lives of Ethiopians throughout the country, notably by making various Tech for Good solutions and services available in health, education, manufacturing, agriculture and digital finance,” Shameel Joosub, CEO, Vodacom Group, said.

Safaricom Ethiopia is owned by an international consortium including Vodafone Group, Safaricom PLC, Vodacom Group, Sumitomo Corporation, and British International Investment (BII), the UK’s development finance institution and impact investor. 

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