Ethiopian Telecommunications Corp (ETC), the country's sole mobile network operator, has launched a prepaid WCDMA 3G mobile phone service in the capital city, Addis Ababa. The company only offers PrePay tariffs to its customers.
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Local media reports last October suggested that the network operator had signed a US$400 million agreement for the supply of 15 million million lines for its mobile networks over a 4-5 year period.
ZTE recently added 1.2 million GSM lines to the network capacity to cope with demand and also a surge in usage which occurred during the celebration of the Ethiopian millennium. There were several serious network failures during the upgrade work, with the mobile operator blaming ZTE for not refarming radio spectrum correctly during the commission of new base stations.
The state owned monopoly ended Q3 '08 with an estimated 2 million subscribers, which according to figures from the Mobile World equates to a population penetration level of just 2.6%.
Source: Cellular News.