Ethio Telecom Earns 22.4 Billion Birr in Six Months

By Staff Reporter

Frehiwot-Ethio-TelecomJanuary 15, 2020 ( -- Ethio telecom, the Ethiopian telecom monopoly, announced it has earned over 22.4 billion birr in revenue from its service sales during the first half of this Ethiopian fiscal year.

Briefing journalists on Wednesday, Ethio Telecom CEO Firehiwot Tamiru said the company has achieved 104 percent what it had planned for the first half of the budget year.

According to the CEO, the cash flow for the 126-year-old company, serving 45.6 million subscribers, was healthy and positive and saw a 10.9 percent increment over the last six months.

Firehiwot said the earning is one of the highest achievements and would have been even more had it not been for telecom fraud which took away 100 million birr during the period.

She further highlighted, revenue from mobile services contributed the lion’s share of the total amount, fetching over 50.49 percent, and internet services and international telecom services contributed 27.3 and 9.8 percent of the revenue, respectively.

The national telecommunication density stands at 45.4 percent with mobile voice subscribers representing 44.03 million, data and internet users 22.74 million, and landline service subscribers 1.01 million.

Firehiwot attributed the better achievement to the reforms in system, structure, human power capacity and also the efficient mobilization and usage of resources as well as the introduction of alternative services. The revenue saw a 32 percent increase compared to the same period last year.

"Had it not been for frequent challenges including power outage, internal and external telecom frauds, the revenue could have been more," she added.

“The company faced many challenges including fiber and copper cable vandalism, commercial power interruption, telecom fraud, security problems and delay in land acquisition for new site deployments," she said.

The telecom giant has finalized various projects to expand and provide 3G services for additional 759,741 customers and 170,737 for 2G mobile subscribers.

According to the CEO, the expansion of 4G network service is well in progress in Addis Ababa and other major cities of the country.

She said the country’s international telecom gateway capacity has been upgraded by more than 71 percent during the stated period.

Ethio telecom’s three-year strategic plan outlined six strategic themes and this year's annual plan aims at enabling the company to be a competent, competitive and preferred service provider in the country.

Firehiwot went on saying that the internet and mobile connections have been suspended deliberately in western Ethiopia for security reasons.

The Ethiopian government disclosed last year that it plans to privatize parts of Ethio Telecom. Several world operators have since shown interest in this largely untapped market. In September 2019, the government announced it was looking for a transaction advisor and hired an international consulting firm KPMG to help with the selling process.

The Ethiopian telecommunications sector is largely undeveloped due to the government monopoly. Internet penetration in Ethiopia is one of the lowest in Africa, estimated at about 15 percent at the end of 2018. Phone and internet services are generally poor and unreliable and at times affected by government politics and other considerations. Telecom rates are also expensive than in many parts of the world, even considering the rate cuts the company announced in August last year.

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