Safaricom Ethiopia has switched on its mobile telecommunications network and services in Addis Ababa, the country’s capital city.
Safaricom Ethiopia’s 2G, 3G and 4G mobile services are now available in 11 cities including the capital and the country’s second-largest city Dire Dawa.
In a statement, the company said it plans to launch services in a total of 25 cities by April 2023 to meet the 25 per cent population coverage obligation in its license.
Safaricom Ethiopia is building a wholly owned mobile network and also has infrastructure sharing and interconnection agreements in place with Ethio Telecom.
The Ethiopian government launched Digital Ethiopia 2025 to help the country realise its digital potential and leverage technology to build a more prosperous society. As part of that process, Safaricom Ethiopia was granted a nationwide full-service Unified Telecommunications Service Licence and is the first company in the country to launch a competitive mobile service to Ethio Telecom, which is state-owned.
The Company is owned by an international consortium including Vodafone Group; Safaricom PLC; Vodacom Group; Sumitomo Corporation – one of the largest international trading and business investment companies; and British International Investment (BII) – the UK’s development finance institution and impact investor.
Peter Ndegwa, CEO of Safaricom PLC, said: “For two decades, Safaricom PLC has combined the power of technology and our innovative spirit to solve customer and societal challenges. With these lessons and experiences, we look forward to positively impacting the people of Ethiopia with a sustainable and quality mobile network that will be a vital launch pad for nationwide digital telecommunications services to over 118 million Ethiopians1.”
Nick Read, CEO of Vodafone Group, stated: “We are excited to be part of this highly experienced international consortium, with a strong vision to advance Ethiopia’s inclusive digital society, with clear goals to deliver greater prospects for education, jobs and prosperity.”