Number of Mobile Subscribers in Ethiopia tops 17 million – Ethio-Telecom
State-run Ethio Telecom (formerly Ethiopia Telecom Corporation, ETC) has announced its operational and financial results for its fiscal year ended 30 June 2012. In a media briefing the monopoly operator’s CEO Bruno Duthoit confirmed that the carrier’s total mobile subscriber base reached 17.26 million users at the end of June, with monthly net additions running at an average of 450,000 per month over the past year. Taken overall, Ethio Telecom reported 18.28 million subscribers, up 59% year-on-year, including 805,000 fixed lines in service and 221,000 internet/data connections. Further, Duthoit said that his company has 2.44 million people regularly using its GPRS (mobile) service. Strong fixed and mobile growth has been achieved in part as a result of the telco’s targets within Ethiopia’s five-year Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP).
Ethio Telecom reported total revenue of ETB12.35 billion (USD691.79 million) in the last fiscal year, of which 66.60% was attributable to mobile, followed by interconnect (international services) which accounted for 22.35%. Earnings before interest tax depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) was ETB8.87 billion, which was 71.8% of total revenue. The CEO noted that strong financial and subscriber growth during the year had been driven by the launch of new services and tariff packages, which offered users ‘more affordable and more diversified’ products. Some of the significant launches Duthoit said, included: value added services (such as USSD codes, call me back, credit transfer, GPRS, voicemail for post-paid); a new post-paid mobile offer to residential customers with a credit limit policy; a pre-paid bundle offer with voice, SMS and data; a new ADSL service offer with CPE customer premise equipment for residential customers; new 3G services with EV-DO dongle packages; and a new post-paid fixed line offer.
In addition to this, Ethio Telecom has embarked on major upgrade works focusing on fibre deployment, including an OPGW project with the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo) to improve coverage, quality and reliability of its optical fibre network. It also carried out a 2G and 3G mobile network optimisation programme, improved network redundancy via new OPGW and microwave routes and completed rehabilitation work on around 1,000km of fibre-optic networks. Finally, the carrier also worked towards improving rural connectivity and has begun work to complete its ‘Schoolnet’ and ‘Woredanet’ connection projects.