According to new reporting, Ethio Telecom is now confronting fresh competition from Safaricom after failing to meet its revenue targets in the last half-year.
According to Ethio Telecom, the company only accomplished 86.4 per cent of its target in the second half of 2021, though that was 6.7 per cent more than the same period in 2020.
CEO Frehiwot Tamiru said at a news conference that the actual revenue was US$565 million.
International business revenue was US$74.8 million, representing 89.3 per cent of the target she had set.
“Along with growing our revenue stream, our company established a cost-cutting strategy and saved over US$24.2 million in six months,” she said.
“We reached 60.8 million total subscribers, exceeding 100% of the subscriber base target and a 20 per cent increase from the previous budget year’s comparable period.” There were 58.7 million mobile voice subscribers, 23.8 million data and internet users, 923,000 fixed services, and 443,000 fixed broadband subscribers. The density of telecommunications has reached 58.5 per cent.”
With 115 million people, Ethiopia presents a significant opportunity for Safaricom, preparing to launch Ethio Telecom’s first-ever competition.
Safaricom Kenya owns 55.7 per cent of Safaricom Ethiopia, while Vodacom owns 6.2 per cent. Safaricom Kenya and Vodacom are both part of the Vodafone global network. Sumitomo, with 27.2 per cent, and the UK government’s CDC group, with 10.9 per cent, are the other shareholders.
Ethio Telecom has been spared the emergence of a third operator in the underserved market. The Ethiopian Communications Authority (ECA) requested proposals for a new licensee in September 2021, but the ECA cancelled plans over the Christmas and New Year holidays, citing “concerns and appeals from numerous prospective bidders to delay the process.”
Mobile money, which Safaricom pioneered in Kenya under the M-Pesa brand, which Safaricom and Vodacom now own, will be one of the main areas of competition between Ethio Telecom and Safaricom.