Ethiopia’s state-run Ethio Telecom is set to launch its 4G network. The introduction of the service is part of a $1.6 billion deal signed in July and August between the Ethiopian firm, Huawei and ZTE to expand mobile phone infrastructure throughout the Horn of Africa country.
Ethio Telecom has been on an expansion plan culminating in the launch of the 4G service. The expansion took place in three phases with the first phase involving the replacement of the Nokia network with a Huawei network. The second phase included the swapping of 239 areas in the Capital Addis Ababa.
The Third phase involved the offering of the 4G service to over 400,000 customers through civil works, installation of antenneas and service equipment to 410 sites before expansion to the rest of Ethiopia. The expansion plan also involved an ambitious plan to double the number of subscribers to 50 Million.
The downloading capacity of the 4G network is said to be 150mbit/sec while 3G’s is 42mbit/sec. The new 4G service will be provided to smart phones with 4G capacities. Ethio Telecom is the only mobile operator in the country of more than 80 million people and continues to enjoy the monopoly with no plans for the liberalization of the market.