Ethiopia’s Capital Addis Ababa Gets 4G Internet Connectivity
Ethiopia’s state-owned Ethio Telecom has rolled the fourth-generation (4G) mobile service in Addis Ababa. The 4G network is said to serve about 400,000 subscribers initially, with faster and more reliable internet speeds compared to the 3G network. Users will now be able to run more complex applications easily and fast.
The 4G network was made possible through a deal entered into by Ethio Telecom and two other Chinese firms; Huawei and ZTE. The deal came at a price tag of $1.6 billion and is set to roll our mobile infrastructure throughout the country. But the Ethio Telecom had a fall out with ZTE and replaced it with Sweden’s Ericsson on December, 2014.
According to a statement made by Ethio Telecom’s Head of Communications, Abdurahim Ahmed, the 4G network took eight months to set up. The Telecom says that the data plan charges will range from $21 per month for 2GB and $180 for 30GB.
However, as much as the move is to be appreciated, skeptics challenge the Ethiopian Government to be more effective in running Ethio Telecom more efficiently. Arguing a big part of Ethiopia, including the Capital, Addis Ababa, still has occasional patch mobile reception. The country is still one of the few countries in the continent where the Government monopolized and ran the telecom industry.
Government officials have made it clear, that Ethiopia is not even considering liberalizing the telecom industry. Saying the industry earns the government revenues that will be used in the ambitious construction of a 5,000 km (3,100 miles) railway lines by 2020.