Ethiopia’s incumbent communications provider Ethio Telecom has announced the launch of a pre-commercial 5G service in Addis Ababa. Detailing the development in a press release, the operator said it was initially offering a trial 5G service via six mobile stations in the capital, while looking ahead it has set out its stall to expand its 5G footprint to regional cities via up to 150 sites over the coming twelve months. Further, Ethio Telecom has said it intends to roll out additional 5G sites to more areas ‘based on feasible business demands’. Of note, the telco confirmed that the Ethiopian Communication Authority (ECA) has furnished it with a temporary 5G spectrum approval to implement the pre-commercial trial of the service, while it added that strategic partner Huawei Technologies had deployed the network infrastructure for it.
Notably though, Ethio Telecom has confirmed that a full commercialisation of 5G remains ‘dependent on the readiness and demand from the players in the ecosystem: customers’ readiness to use the service, availability of 5G enabled devices and smartphones, the need and readiness of enterprises to use the service’.