Huawei to roll out LTE in Ethiopian capital

Ethio Telecom has picked Huawei to roll out its LTE network across the capital Addis Ababa as part of the $1.6 billion (€1.2 billion) mobile infrastructure deal the state-owned operator signed with Huawei and ZTE in July and August.

"In terms of allocation, Huawei will be responsible for the expansion of 4G in Addis Ababa, including other mobile services - the 2G, 3G, IP and the like," Abdurahim Ahmed, Ethio Telecom's head of communications, told Reuters.

Abdurahim added that the network is expected to benefit more than 400,000 subscribers, and the expansion project in Addis Ababa, including LTE, should be completed within an eight-month period.

The two Chinese equipment manufacturers were selected to build an LTE network in the capital, Addis Ababa, and help deploy 3G service throughout the rest of the country. Reuters reported at the time that the arrangement also includes vendor financing since both companies will provide low-interest loans to Ethiopia.

Abdurahim told Reuters that the contract was awarded under a long-term loan package to be paid over a 13-year period with an interest rate of "less than 1 per cent."

Ethio Telecom is the only mobile operator in the country of more than 90 million people, with Ethiopia one of the last remaining countries in Africa to maintain a state monopoly in telecoms.

For more:
- see this Reuters article

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