Ethiopia to open bids for telecoms expansion in Dec or Jan - CEO

By Aaron Maasho

ADDIS ABABA Oct 28 (Reuters) – Ethiopia’s state-run telecoms monopoly will launch a tender in December or January to help the company upgrade infrastructure and expand its mobile phone coverage by about 72 percent, the company’s chief executive said.

The project, whose cost is being assessed, will mostly involve the upgrading of software technology, as previous work had laid out enough towers, Ethio Telecom Chief Executive Andualem Admassie Abate told Reuters in an interview.

He said one possible software update may include the future addition of 5G technology.

The Horn of Africa country is among only a handful of nations in the continent to maintain government control over telecoms.

Under a $1.6 billion agreement signed with Chinese firms Huawei and ZTE in 2013, Ethio Telecom started rolling out infrastructure that would double capacity to 60 million subscribers by the end of this year, in the country of more than 90 million people.

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