Ethiopia - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Executive summary

Ethio Telecom soon to connect to Gulf2Africa cable

Ethiopia is one of the last countries in Africa allowing its national telco, Ethio Telecom, a monopoly on all telecom services including fixed, mobile, internet and data communications. This monopolistic control has stifled innovation, restricted network expansion and limited the scope of services on offer. A management contract with Orange Group had dramatically improved performance for Ethio Telecom though there remain weaknesses in quality of service. Although the contract was considered a first step towards privatisation and the introduction of competition, the government in 2013 again rejected calls to privatise the incumbent and allow market competition, citing the need for higher profits from the company to subsidise an unrelated railway project.

Although there is considerable investment in telecoms services – some $3.1 billion has been invested in telecom infrastructure and service expansion projects over the last decade – the sector is heavily regulated and the government has complete control over networks, with virtually unlimited access to the call records of all phone users and to logs of internet traffic. Most of the technologies deployed have been provided by ZTE and Huawei, which have often been favoured for offering vendor financing.

Despite major vendor contracts aimed at improving the reach and capabilities of mobile networks, the country’s mobile penetration remains among the lowest in the world. Nevertheless, growth is strong and considerable growth potential remains. Under the auspices of the government’s Growth and Transformation Plan, the country could have some 103 million mobile subscribers by 2020, as well as 56 million internet subscribers.

The country's broadband market is also set to develop further following massive increases in international bandwidth, improvements in national fibre backbone infrastructure and the growing availability of mobile broadband services via 3G and LTE networks. After years of low uptake due to prohibitive pricing, retail prices are now comparable to other more developed markets in the region.

Key developments:

Ethio Telecom partners with Gulf2Africa cable construction; government launches mobile apps as part of the e-Government Directorate; major changes anticipated in the second Growth and Development Plan to 2020; VAS licences issued; Ethio Telecom expands LTE reach, considers charging for OTT services; Ethio Telecom reports 33% increase in profit for H1 FY2016; international internet bandwidth increased 60% in 2015 to exceed 22Gb/s; significant improvements in broadband affordability; Huawei and ZTE share a $1.6 billion contract to develop mobile infrastructure; MetEC begins delivery of smart meters to Ethiopian Electric Utility.

Market penetration rates in Ethiopia’s telecoms sector – 2016 (e)

Penetration of telecoms services: Penetration
Fixed-line telephony 1.0%
Internet users 4.2%
Mobile SIM (population) 48.3%

Companies mentioned in this report:

Ethio Telecom (formerly Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation, ETC), EthioNet, Ethio Mobile, Orange Group, Tecno Telecom, Smadl, Tana Communication, Thuraya.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Executive summary
  • 2. Key statistics
  • 3. Country overview
  • 4. Telecommunications market
    • 4.1 Market analysis
  • 5. Regulatory environment
    • 5.1 Regulatory authority
    • 5.2 Telecom service licences
    • 5.3 Telecom sector liberalisation
    • 5.4 Privatisation
  • 6. Fixed network operator
    • 6.1.1 Wireless Local Loop (WLL)
    • 6.1.2 Leased lines, data services
    • 6.1.3 VSAT
    • 6.1.4 Orange Group management contract
    • 7. Telecommunications infrastructure
      • 7.2 Overview of the national telecom network
      • 7.3 Rural area network
      • 7.4 National backbone network
      • 7.5 Next Generation Network (NGN)
      • 7.6 Network development plan 2007-2012
      • 7.7 Growth and development Plans I and II
      • 7.8 International infrastructure
    • 8. Smart infrastructure
    • 9. Fixed-line broadband market
      • 9.1 Introduction and statistical overview
      • 9.2 Broadband statistics
        • 9.2.1 Forecast – broadband subscribers – 2016; 2018; 2021
      • 9.3 National connectivity
      • 9.4 Public internet access locations
      • 9.5 Fixed-line broadband technologies
        • 9.5.1 Fixed wireless
    • 10. Digital economy
      • 10.1 E-government
      • 10.2 E-learning
    • 11. Mobile market
      • 11.1 Market analysis
      • 11.2 Mobile statistics
        • 11.2.1 General statistics
        • 11.2.2 Mobile data
      • 11.3 Mobile broadband
      • 11.4 Forecast – mobile subscribers – 2016; 2018; 2021
      • 11.5 Mobile operator
        • 11.5.1 Ethio Mobile
      • 11.6 Mobile infrastructure
        • 11.6.1 Digital networks
        • 11.6.2 Other infrastructure developments
      • 11.7 Mobile content and applications
        • 11.7.1 m-banking
      • 11.8 Mobile handsets
        • 11.8.1 Local handset manufacturing
    • 12. Related reports
    • Table 1 – Country statistics Ethiopia – 2016 (e)
    • Table 2 – Fixed-line network statistics – 2016 (e)
    • Table 3 – Internet provider statistics – 2016
    • Table 4 – Internet and social media user statistics – 2016 (e)
    • Table 5 – Mobile statistics – 2016 (e)
    • Table 6 – National telecommunications authority
    • Table 7 – Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 1995 - 2009
    • Table 8 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2010 - 2017
    • Table 9 – Growth development Plan I and II objectives – 2015; 2020
    • Table 10 – International internet bandwidth – 2000 - 2015
    • Table 11 – Historic - Internet users and penetration rate – 1996 - 2009
    • Table 12 – Internet users and penetration rate – 2010 - 2017
    • Table 14 – Historic - Internet subscribers – 1997 - 2009
    • Table 15 Broadband subscribers – 2003 - 2017
    • Table 16 – Forecast broadband subscribers – 2016; 2018; 2021
    • Table 17 – Ethio Telecom capped DSL pricing – 2016
    • Table 18 – Ethio-Telecom EV-DO wireless broadband pricing – 2016
    • Table 19 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 1999 - 2009
    • Table 20 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2010 - 2017
    • Table 21 – SMS messages sent – 2010 - 2017
    • Table 22 – Active mobile broadband subscribers – 2009 - 2017
    • Table 23 – Forecast mobile subscribers – 2016; 2018; 2021
    • Table 24 – Ethio Telecom 3G and LTE pricing – 2016
    • Chart 1 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2005 – 2017
    • Chart 2 – Internet users and penetration rate – 2005 – 2017
    • Chart 3 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2005 - 2017

    Related Reports

    Purchase this Report

    US$750.00

    Licence Information

    Share this Report

    Purchase with Confidence

    for this – it’s been a real pleasure dealing with you – great service!

    Jo Chaffer, British Council

    Special Offers

    Germany - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media - Statistics and Analyses
    US$575.00 until 4 Oct 2017
    (normal price US$1,150.00)

    Russia - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media - Statistics and Analyses
    US$575.00 until 4 Oct 2017
    (normal price US$1,150.00)

    Australia - Digital Media - Apps and Services
    US$795.00 until 20 Sep 2017
    (normal price US$1,590.00)

    Australia - Video Streaming, Broadcasting and Pay TV
    US$795.00 until 20 Sep 2017
    (normal price US$1,590.00)

    Sample Reports

    A selection of downloadable samples from our Annual Publications catalogue.


    Download a Sample Report

    More than 4,000 customers from 140 countries utilise BuddeComm Research

    Are you interested in BuddeComm's Custom Research Service?

    News & Views

    Have the latest telecommunications industry news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to Paul's FREE weekly News & Views.