If the latest six-month reports by Ethio Telecom are true, Ethiopia’s state-owned telecom operator seems to still be growing even under difficult business environments.
Total Ethio-Telecom service subscribers are said to have reached over 74.6 million, as revealed by the company. This marks a 6.7 percent increase compared to the previous year, as reported by VOA Amharic. The report indicates that Ethio-Telecom’s business activity came under pressure in different parts of the country due to security problems attributed to ongoing wars. Despite these challenges, the company is declaring a revenue of 42.9 billion birr in the first half of this budget year, out of which 11 billion birr represents net profit, reflecting a 14 percent growth compared to last year.
“Our company has demonstrated remarkable performance in the first half of the budget year, acquiring 74.6 million subscribers and attaining 98.3% of the target. We generated a total revenue of 42.86 billion ETB, accomplishing 98% of our target, and producing 84.7 million USD, achieving 109% of our target,” the company wrote on its social media page.
Additionally, Ethio-Telecom revealed that it has undertaken various network expansion works during the above-mentioned period. According to Firehiwot Tamiru, these efforts enabled thousands of Ethiopians to access telephone services. The expansion covered 10 regions, and the CEO emphasized that the works were not limited to potentially profitable areas but also extended to rural counties, known in Ethiopia as Kebele.
She summarized the expansion efforts to include 41 mobile service stations capable of providing services to over 229,000 new clients. Tamiru hailed it as one of the main achievements, particularly in areas that previously lacked access to the service before the expansion work.
The expansion work in the past six months in 3G, 4G, and 5G telephone services has created the potential to serve over 1.9 million new customers, as reported by VOA Amharic.
Maintenance work on damaged telephone lines, in connection with the conflict between the TPLF and the Federal government, was also part of the company’s efforts during the same period. However, it is indicated that the work is not yet completed and requires substantial investment, according to the CEO. Nevertheless, some areas in the region have already started accessing 4G mobile services.
There were reports in late 2023 that Ethiopia lost billions of dollars due to an internet shutdown in connection with the state of emergency imposed in the Amhara region. This region has been experiencing a war between Fano forces and government troops for nearly seven months now. The military operation initiated by Abiy Ahmed, with the initially stated intention to conclude within two weeks, has turned out to be a conflict with no apparent resolution in sight.
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