Ethio Telecom, Ethiopia’s incumbent telecoms provider, is reportedly planning to acquire a telecommunications satellite with a view to extending its network coverage to remote areas of the country. According to Agence Ecofin, with the telco currently estimated to be spending in the region of USD12 million per annum on leasing capacity on foreign satellites, purchasing its own satellite is being actively considered as a means to reduce costs.
The report goes on to point out that Ethio Telecom has been considering deploying its own satellite for some time, but the plan was curtailed when it was revealed that the Information Network Security Agency (INSA) – the government agency in charge of Ethiopia’s cybersecurity issues – was intending to acquire its own larger-scale orbiter. Due to this, the government blocked Ethio Telecom’s satellite purchase, arguing that having both it and the INSA launch satellites would be a waste of resources. Now, however, with it understood that the INSA is no longer looking to acquire its own vehicle, it has been claimed Ethio Telecom will look to progress its plans in this area, with the operator cited as saying: ‘We are working on the plan. We will work on the strategy and present it to the government for approval.’