ADDIS ABABA – Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia officially launched with the telco switching on its mobile telecoms network and services in the Capital Addis Ababa today.
The launching ceremony has taken place at Addis Ababa’s Friendship Park, where the government and a consortium, which owns the telco, signed an operating licensing agreement in June, 2021.
The PM Abiy Ahmed’s administration launched Digital Ethiopia 2025 in a bid to realise the country’s 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 Telecom Service Licence.
With the national launch today, Safaricom has officially become the first private company in Ethiopia to launch a competitive mobile service to a state-owned Ethio Telecom.
“It is my honour to join you today on this auspicious day that we officially ‘switch on’ commercial services in Addis Ababa and formally launch Safaricom Ethiopia,” said Peter Ndegwa, CEO of Safaricom Plc.
The telco’s 2G, 3G and 4G mobile services are now available in 11 cities, including Addis Ababa and the country’s second largest city Dire Dawa.
The company plans to launch services in a total of 25 cities by April 2023 to meet the 25% population coverage obligation in its licence.
Safaricom Ethiopia is building a wholly-owned mobile network and also has infrastructure sharing and interconnection agreements in place with Ethio Telecom.
Safaricom Ethiopia is owned by an international consortium including Vodafone Group; Safaricom Plc; Vodacom Group; Sumitomo Corporation, and British International Investment (BII)
The telco says its vision is to transform lives through a digital future for all Ethiopians.
“Ubiquitous network connectivity will positively transform the lives of Ethiopians throughout the country, notably by making various Tech for Good solutions and services available in health, education, manufacturing, agriculture and digital finance,” said Shameel Joosub, CEO, Vodacom Group.
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