ZTE completes Ethiopian government’s $1.5 billion broadband deal

ZTE completes Ethiopian government’s $1.5 billion broadband deal

Chinese telecommunications company ZTE has completed the second half of a US$1.5 billion deal with the Ethiopian government to expand mobile internet infrastructure.

HumanIPO reported last month the agreement of a US$1.5 billion contract between Ethiopia and Huawei to provide equipment as the first stage of the deal.

Andualem Admassie, acting chief executive officer of state-run Ethio Telecom, said: “The expansion is vital to attain Ethio Telecom’s objective of increasing telecom service access and coverage across the nation, as well as to upgrade existing network to new technology.”

The infrastructure expansion programme will provide 4G services to Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, and 3G to the rest of the country, Reuters reports.

Admassie also said the expansion would double the number of people with access to these services, raising the number to more than 50 million of the total population of 85 million.

Huawei and ZTE will provide low interest loans to the Ethiopian government to help the expansion in telecommunications infrastructure to go ahead.

State-run Ethio Telecom has a monopoly on the country’s telecommunications industry, though since this was relaxed for add-ons last year more than 200 applications have been received from private companies to provide extra services.

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