Safaricom Ethiopia Switches on its Network in 11 Cities

Safaricom Ethiopia is building a wholly-owned mobile network and has infrastructure sharing and interconnection agreements with Ethio Telecom.

David Indeje is Khusoko’s Digital Editor, covering East African markets.
Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia Officially Launched

From left: Nick Read, CEO of Vodafone Group, Peter Ndegwa, CEO of Safaricom PLC, Michael joseph, Safaricom Board member and Anwar Soussa CEO of Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia, During the switch on of the Safaricom Ethiopia mobile telecommunications network and services in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Safaricom Telecommunication Ethiopia Plc has gone live with its mobile telecommunications network and services in Addis Ababa.

Safaricom Ethiopia’s 2G, 3G and 4G mobile services are available in 11 cities from Thursday, including the capital and the country’s second-largest city Dire Dawa.

The company plans to launch services in 25 cities by April 2023 to meet its licence’s 25% population coverage obligation.

“The network is 5G enabled in Addis, but we’ll only be switching on 3G and 4G. US$300 million worth of equipment has been imported.

We’ve signed an infrastructure sharing agreement with Ethiotelcom and have been granted access to the towers,” said Anwar Soussa, Safaricom Ethiopia CEO.

Safaricom Group CEO, Peter Ndegwa, in a statement, said he believes the company will leverage years of experience to transform Ethiopia’s telecommunications industry.

“We look forward to positively impacting the people of Ethiopia with a sustainable and quality mobile network that will be a vital launch pad for nationwide digital telecommunications services to over 118 million Ethiopians.”


Vodafone Group CEO Nick Read said, “We are excited to be part of this highly experienced international consortium, with a strong vision to advance Ethiopia’s inclusive digital society, with clear goals to deliver greater prospects for education, jobs, and prosperity.”

The Safaricom consortium includes Japan’s Sumitomo, South Africa’s Vodafone, Safaricom and UK government-owned CDC Group. South Africa’s Vodacom Group owns a 35 per cent stake in the Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed firm.

The Ethiopian government launched Digital Ethiopia 2025 to help the country realise its digital potential and leverage technology to build a more prosperous society.

As part of that process, Safaricom Ethiopia was granted a nationwide full-service Unified Telecommunications Service Licence and is the first company in the country to launch a competitive mobile service to Ethio Telecom, which is state-owned.


David Indeje is Khusoko’s Digital Editor, covering East African markets.

In my role as Community Engagement Editor For Khusoko, I care about our audience. engaging them, getting news delivered to them across a variety of platforms, and expanding the diversity of voices on our website.

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