Telecom Monopoly Finally Ends in Ethiopia as 2 Int’l Telcos Set to Begin Operations
Ethio Telecom caters to about 46 million subscribers in the country. Although data on Ethio’s market value is not available, the company reported a total revenue of 47.7 billion ETB (US$1. 35 billion) for its financial year ending 30 June 2020.
It can therefore be inferred that the Ethio is a multi-billion-dollar company and a 20% stake would be worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
That said, up to 70 million people in the country are still not connected to any mobile network. Ethio generates most of its revenue from voice calls -voice services accounted for 50% of the telecom’s revenue for FY 2020.
Knowing this, the two incoming operators will look to leverage the opportunity of adequately serving the internet needs of millions of Ethiopian mobile users.
Internet Usage to Increase With Competition
The imminent entry of two international mobile network operators into Ethiopia’s telecom industry will drive an increase in internet usage among the people. Ethiopia’s current internet population of 24 million represents only 20% of the over 115 million people in the country.
Ethio telecom, the sole telecom operator in Ethiopia, offers data, voice and SMS services to 40% (46 million) of the country’s population. However, only 24 million of the 46 million Ethio subscribers use internet and data.
Factors responsible for this range from Ethio’s slow and unstable internet connection to its expensive data tariffs. These probably triggered the loss of 20 million subscribers who opted out of the network between 2018 and 2020.