Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation gets record profits

Addis Ababa, August 11, 2009 — The Ethiopian Telecommunication Corporation (ETC) has amassed a huge gross profit of 3.5 billion Br, a whopping 62.5pc of its gross revenue, of nearly 5.7 billion Br. The monopolistic corporation has not only milked more money out of its existing clients, the previous fiscal year has seen the number of new clients grow by 2.3 million, according to a report it released.

The increase occurred across all categories. Its operational and administrative expenses for the year were 2.11 billion Br, according to the report, which accorded it a net income after tax of 2.4 billion Br.

There are still more land line customers but mobile phones are gaining rapidly. Fixed lines have approximately 900 million subscribers while mobile phones have a little over four million. Rural radio transmitters are still in use by some customers, approximately 14,000 still use the service.

The company’s client base has grown by 80pc during the previous fiscal year.

ETC has enjoyed a leap in the number of users to its various services. Mobile phone users have passed the four million mark. The Code Device Multiple Access-Wireless Local Loop (CDMA-WLL) and mobile users both recorded 108pc growth passing the 70,000 and four million mark, respectively. It has enjoyed lower, but still significant, growths in multi-media and rural communication clients, and international roaming partners, as well as in the coverage of school-net, woreda-net, agri-net.

The corporation says that it has boosted internet capacity by 155mbps through microwave connection to Djibouti and by the same amount through fibre optic connection to Sudan. It also says that it has made reductions in the rate it charged for internet, mobile GSM and fixed broadband internet services, although that was far from making a dent on its mammoth profit.

ETC is continuing the expansion of its services at its own pace in the monopolized Ethiopian market. It has reported that nine projects of its Next Generation Networking (NGN) would be completed and ready for use by January 2010. These projects began in September 2008-09 with an outlay of 1.5 billion Br paid out of its own coffers. These projects include GSM mobile, CDMA-WLL, optical fibre transmission, and next generation call centres, which are at various levels of completion.

The first part of the GSM project has enabled the creation of a core network that can handle 5.6 million customers and stations that can handle 2.3 million customers. The second and third phases will bring into the fold additional 2.7 million customers in 749 towns. The first and second phases of the optical fibre transmission project will install nearly 11,000Km of fibre and the third phase will link them to international lines.

ETC plans to cover 90pc of the country with its services using the NGN projects. “These turn-key projects are supervised by the Corporation supported by the consultancy of Chinese telecom experts to provide world-class telecommunications service” Abdurahim Ahmed, corporate communications head of ETC.

ETC has prided itself on excellence for having topped its performances in earlier years. It holds that it is contributing significantly to turning Ethiopia into a middle income country over the next 20 years.

Source: Addis Fortune

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