Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.

4G/5G

Ethio Telecom launches commercial 5G in Ethiopia

Article Image
Ethiopian state-owned telecom operator Ethio Telecom has launched commercial 5G services in the country.

In a statement, the telco said it is initially offering 5G via 145 sites that have been deployed in the capital of Addis Ababa. The commercial launch follows pre-commercial 5G mobile broadband trials last year.

"Ethio Telecom is ready to offer unlimited 5G data, 5G to the home, and a variety of 5G mobile packages, customer [sic] will however, need 5G-capable devices to take up any of these new services," the telco added.

Mobile 5G tariffs will start at 929 Ethiopian Birr (US$17) per month for up to 150GB of data, while unlimited data 5G plans start from ETB1,199 (US$21.74), the telco said on its website.

However, the plans are not totally unlimited. There's a fair usage allowance, after which peak downlink speeds are slowed. Furthermore, 5G fixed wireless services are available in both volume-based and speed-based options.

Ethio Telecom's privatization

The state-owned telco has been in the news a lot in recent times. Earlier this year, it was revealed that UAE-based e& and France's Orange were exploring plans to buy a 45% stake in Ethio Telecom. This was after the government announced that it was upping the stake offered from 40% to 45%.

As part of the country's plans to liberalize the telecom sector, the Horn of Africa nation has been planning the partial privatization of Ethio Telecom since June 2018. A tender for the partial sale was launched back in June 2021, however, the process stalled in March 2022.

The Ethiopian government in November 2022, however, revived its plans to sell the Ethio Telecom stake and also a strategy to issue another private telecom license in the country, following Safaricom Ethiopia's network launch in August 2022.

5G African revolution

Ethio Telecom's commercial 5G launch follows many other launches on the African continent. Just last month, Emtel became the second telco to launch 5G services in the island nation of Mauritius.

The Emtel launch came on the heels of recent launches by MTN and Airtel in Uganda and Airtel in Zambia in August 2023.

To access commercial 5G services, Ethio Telecoms customers will need 5G-enabled devices.   (Source: Image by Freepik.)
To access commercial 5G services, Ethio Telecoms customers will need 5G-enabled devices.
(Source: Image by Freepik.)

QCell launched The Gambia's first commercial 5G service in June 2023 and Vodacom launched 5G in Mozambique in May 2023.

Another 5G launch by Airtel followed in July 2023, this time in Kenya, following rival Safaricom's 5G rollout in October 2022.

Nigeria saw 5G launched by MTN in August 2022 across seven cities. Nigeria's Mafab Communications followed with a 5G launch in capital city of Abuja in January 2023.

Connecting Africa's research shows that about 15 African countries have now launched commercial 5G services, with more expected in the coming months.

Related posts:

*Top image source: Image by Allexxandar on Freepik

Matshepo Sehloho, Associate Editor, Connecting Africa

Innovation hub

Story

KaiOS targets merchant market for growth, digital inclusion

KaiOS Technologies, the creator of a mobile operating system for smart feature phones, is piloting affordable merchant payment terminals - which look like feature phones - in Africa to help underserved merchants and transport providers accept digital payments solutions.

Story

Ilara Health aims to improve quality of care in Kenya

Kenyan healthtech startup Ilara Health aspires to improve the quality of care in the country's clinics by providing equipment financing and digitizing facilities with its software.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Guest Perspectives

Story

Leadership Lessons: The importance of mentorship for career growth

By Nollie Maoto

Nollie Maoto, First Rand Group's compliance chief data and analytics officer and Africa Tech Festival Leadership Council member, reflects on the importance of mentorship for career growth for African women in data analytics.

Story

Omdia View: May 2024

By Omdia Analysts

May 2024's telecoms highlights in the Middle East and Africa included African 5G subscriptions surpassing 5 million, growth from SpaceX's satellite Internet service Starlink, and a major fiber partnership in the Middle East and North Africa.

More Guest Perspectives

Sponsored video

More videos

Industry announcements

More Industry announcements

Upcoming events

Cyber Revolution Summit
August 9, 2024
Gaborone, Botswana
Africa Tech Festival 2024
November 12-14, 2024
Cape Town, South Africa
More Upcoming events

Africa Tech Perspectives

Story

Uber's Marjorie Saint-Lot on inclusion and sustainability in Africa

Uber's Country Manager for Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire, Marjorie Saint-Lot, shares how the ride-hailing company is approaching public-private partnerships, environmentally friendly initiatives and gender inclusion in Africa.

Story

The 100 most influential African leaders in 2023

A new report from Africa Tech Festival and Connecting Africa puts a spotlight on the top 100 African leaders in the telecoms and technology sector in 2023.

Story

Deep dive into East Africa's tech startup ecosystem

New survey reveals a lack of access to investors, reliance on international VCs and global recession trends as the biggest barriers for East African tech startups to access funds.

More Africa Tech perspectives

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Follow us on X

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up


Sign Up
Tag id test-002