Safaricom Ethiopia PLC partners with Ethiopian Electric Utility for aerial fibre cabling

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Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia PLC and Ethiopian Electric Utility (EEU) have signed a three-year lease agreement to enable aerial fibre installation through the existing poles infrastructure in Addis Abeba and across the country.

As Safaricom continues to build a new network in Ethiopia, investments in infrastructure and strategic partnerships are being prioritized to ensure high-speed internet access is made available to all homes and businesses across the country to enable a digital Ethiopia.

“We are planning a phased network approach and we are proud to be partnering with the EEU to achieve this. Through this win-win partnership, we are empowered with the right tools to continue building the network backed by solid infrastructure and exemplary support from the public sector,” said Anwar Soussa, CEO Safaricom Ethiopia.

By utilizing existing electricity poles, Safaricom will avoid investment redundancies as well as increase the pace of the project. Additionally, aerial cabling is expected to be easier to repair and deploy over challenging terrain.

Anwar added: “One of the challenges in deploying network infrastructure is the time it takes to acquire and develop sites in order to get a new site installed. We are currently at a critical phase of building the network and this partnership greatly facilitates our progress towards launch in both rural and urban environments.”

As part of the agreement, Safaricom will provide access to a number of broadband channels from its infrastructure for the exclusive SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) communication installation purposes by the EEU.

Mr. Shiferaw Telila, CEO of EEU said, “Safaricom Ethiopia’s entry into the market offers an opportunity for more value-added services to be provided by the public sector with the government’s support.” The vision of a digital Ethiopia is a shared dream for us all and this agreement is a sign of our commitment towards fulfilling the government’s digital transformation agenda.

“By offering access to our extensive pole infrastructure across the country, we are optimistic of the benefit in store in terms of connectivity will ensure quality services and fair competition across the telecommunications industry,” concluded Mr. Telila.

The agreement follows a recently signed five-year lease agreement between Safaricom Ethiopia and Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) to share dark fiber-optic. Safaricom will also lease the OPGW (Optical Ground Wire) installed on EEP high voltage transmission to be used as part of Safaricom’s network to provide national telecommunications services.

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