Safaricom Ethiopia pilots customer network in Dire Dawa
Safaricom Ethiopia has successfully piloted its customer network in Dire Dawa, the country’s second largest city after Addis Ababa.
The rollout is a pre-cursor to the company’s official national launch of its network in October 2023, and is based on 2G, 3G and 4G connectivity.
Safaricom Ethiopia said people who subscribe during this trial stage will receive a welcome offer including data, voice (local and international worldwide) and SMS allocations so that they can test the network out for a month.
Customers can also make cross-network calls and send SMS’ to Ethio Telecom customers.
Safaricom added that it will also open a call centre service to provide support in four local languages (Amharic, Afaan, Oromo, and Tigrigna) and English.
The company said it will also allow customers to buy their preferred Safaricom Ethiopia numbers that begin with 07 prefix.
Safaricom Ethiopia CEO Anwar Soussa said: “We begin opening the network to customers in order to test the end-to-end readiness of technical and commercial operations ahead of the full network launch.”
The Safaricom consortium, which includes the British Development Finance Corporation Agency (CDC) Group and Japanese Sumitomo Corporation, secured a US$850-million licence to operate in the country last year.
In July this year the company said it had invested US$-1 billion in Ethiopia, which includes a licence fee and imported equipment worth US$300-million, towers and wholesale agreements for international connectivity, among others.
Safaricom plans to provide mobile phones services in 25 cities across the country by April 2023 and has invited tower infrastructure and equipment suppliers to engage with it as it rolls out its network.