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Ethio Telecom Partners with Ericsson to Launch 4G Network for South West Ethiopia

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Luis Monzon
Luis Monzon
Journalist. Reach me at Luis@ITNewsAfrica.com

Ethio Telecom is partnering with Ericsson to expand its 4G services into the South West region of Ethiopia during 2021. A decisive move that correlates with Ethiopia’s plans into introducing international investors and partners into their monopoly-laden and virtually untapped telecoms space.

The service provider will use Ericsson Radio System products and solutions for this deployment. The core expansion will take place in Ethio Telecom’s regional data centres and the data centres in Addis Ababa.

Through this partnership, Ethio Telecom will seek to 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 telecom’s 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.

“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,” says Frehiwot Tamru, CEO of Ethio Telecom.

“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.”

“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,” says Todd Ashton, VP and Head of Ericsson South and East Africa.

Ethiopian Telecom Market Opens

Recently, massive African telcos like Safaricom and MTN have been making strides into introducing their services into the fallow Ethiopian market which has a population of over 100 million people, where only about 20% have access to the Internet, and less than 40% have a mobile phone.

Edited by Luis Monzon
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