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Ethiopia – Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband – Statistics and Analyses

Ethiopia’s Ethio Telecom launches LTE services

Source: Internet World Stats
Ethiopia is one of the last countries in Africa allowing its national telco, Ethio Telecom (ETC) a monopoly on all telecom services including fixed, mobile, internet and data communications. This monopolistic control has stifled innovation and retarded expansion. A recently expired management contract with France Telecom dramatically improved performance for ETC though there remain weaknesses in quality of service. Although the contract was considered a first step towards privatisation and the introduction of competition, the government in 2013 again rejected calls to privatise the incumbent and allow market competition, citing the need for higher profits from the company to subsidise an unrelated railway project.
Although there is considerable investment in telecoms services, the sector is heavily regulated and the government has complete control over networks, with virtually unlimited access to the call records of all phone users and to logs of internet traffic. Most of the technologies deployed have been provided by ZTE and Huawei.
With a population of almost 100 million, Ethiopia is Africa’s second most populous country. Although a number of major contracts have been signed with Chinese vendors since into 2013, the country’s mobile penetration remains one of the lowest in the world. Nevertheless, growth is strong and enormous growth potential remains. Albeit from a low base, mobile penetration is rising and the sector continues to benefit from the poor fixed-line infrastructure which has promoted mobile alternatives as the only viable, or robust, telecoms option in many areas.
The country’s broadband market is also set for a boom following massive improvements in international bandwidth, national fibre backbone infrastructure and 3G mobile broadband services. After years of low uptake due to prohibitive pricing, retail prices are now comparable to other markets in the region that are already more developed.

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Estimated market penetration rates in Ethiopia’s telecoms sector – 2015 (e)

Internet 4

inrenet 1

The following is sorted by Internet Penetration (% population). Ethiopia is only better than Eritria, Niger, Chad and Congo Dem. The lawless country of Somalia, much better than Ethiopia. The newly independent country, South Sudan stands at 16%.
Internet 2
Internet 3


  1. For a country that has recorded over 10% market growth and on GTP 3 plan to convert farm economy to industrialization, it is very sad to have this level of communication gap.
    I think the government should lead this sector to third party to handle each worda and zone similar to Nigeria leasing to better operating companies to improve Telecom sector. They should focus in making required procedures and future expansion plans.
    They can collect a lot of money and improved telecom Bandwidth. Are they listening?…..

  2. When you are governed by uneducated dictators what do you expect, they don’t want people to explore and find out how other world live and exercise the freedom of speech. They want to cripple the whole nation and keep the country in the dark as long as they are in power.

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