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Ethio Telecom, Ericsson launch 4G network for South West Ethiopia

Ethio Telecom is partnering with Ericsson to expand its 4G services into the South West region of Ethiopia during 2021.

According to the companies, Ericsson Radio System products and solutions will be used for this deployment. The core expansion will take place in Ethio telecom’s regional datacentres and the datacentres in Addis Ababa.

Through this partnership, Ethio telecom will modernise its network by transitioning from the current Operations Support Systems (OSS) systems to the more advanced and high-capacity Ericsson Network Manager (ENM).

Ethio telecom will also introduce Ericsson Cloud Packet Core and Ericsson NFVI (Network Functions Virtualisation Infrastructure) as part of the modernisation effort. The 4G network will also use Ericsson Radio System products.

The companies add that the expansion of 4G comes at a time when the demand for 4G is growing exponentially.

According to the latest Ericsson’s Mobility Report, 4G subscriptions increased by approximately 100 million worldwide during the first quarter of 2021. The expansion project confirms Ethio telecom’s commitment to modernise its network and bring enhanced data services to its customers.

Frehiwot Tamru, CEO of Ethio Telecom, says: “We are excited to collaborate with Ericsson in expanding our 4G/LTE Advanced service. This will bring high-speed internet to the South West region, which will be vital for achieving Ethiopia’s digitalisation ambitions while improving the reach of telebirr, our mobile money service. We understand that digitalisation has the potential to boost the livelihoods of Ethiopians while improving access to financial, healthcare, education, and services and we believe our collaboration with Ericsson will take us one step closer to a digital Ethiopia.”

Todd Ashton, Vice President and Head of Ericsson South and East Africa, says: “Ericsson began the partnership with Ethiopia and Ethio telecom in 1894. Fast forward nearly 130 years later and we have together launched one of the most advanced 5G ready networks in the region. As the world enters a digital age with 5G technology gradually rolling out across the world, we are reiterating our commitment to Ethiopia and Ethio telecom to support with our technology leadership and global expertise.”

Govt stake

Earlier this month the Ethiopian government launched a tender for the sale of 40% stake in state-owned operator Ethio Telecom.

The move is widely considered a bid by authorities to make the company more competitive after the government opened the country’s telecommunications industry to private investment.

Authorities confirmed that requests for proposals would be accepted after the tender process and said it aims to complete the entire transaction “in an efficient and streamlined manner.”

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