Ethiopia's monopoly mobile network, the Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation (ETC) has finished the majority of a GSM network upgrade in the capital city region. ETC Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Amare Amsalu, told local Walta Info that 80 per cent of the upgrading works began last March has already been completed.
Upgrades across the rest of the country should be completed within the next few weeks. He said the corporation is undertaking the upgrading works at 400 stations in Addis Ababa alone and similar works would be carried out in various towns across the country.
The operator has also installed some 150 diesel generators to provide backup electricity due to the unreliable national grid.
Local media reports last October suggested that the network operator had signed a US$400 million agreement for the supply of 15 million million lines for its mobile networks over a 4-5 year period.
The state owned monopoly ended Q1 '09 with an estimated 2.6 million subscribers, which according to figures from the Mobile World equates to a population penetration level of just 3.2%.