Safaricom switches on network in Addis, holds national launch program

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Safaricom Ethiopia PLC has switched on its network in Addis Abeba and hold a national launch program after the launch of services across ten cities on Thursday.

The initial plan of Safaricom was to launch its first network in Addis Abeba. But, the customer network launch started from Dire Dawa and eight other cities before the service launch in the capital.

The launch program was held in Hyatt Regency Hotel.

Anwar Soussa, CEO, Safaricom Ethiopia PLC said: “In the next five months we have a plan to expand our services to south and west Ethiopia.”

“We’ve launched our services in 450 sites across ten cities, and ready to launch our services in 300 sites,” he added.

Anwar said pertaining to the competition in Ethiopian market that, “We expect a very stiff competition from Ethio telecom.”

Journalists raised questions on Safaricom’s market share expectations in the local market. “We’ll see how much percentage of the market share we’ll have in two years at least,” said Anwar.

Safaricom Ethiopia PLC has a plan to launch MPESA, a mobile money service, which is successful in Kenya.

Journalist also raised questions regarding the time schedule MPESA will be launched services in Ethiopia.  “I think you’ve to wait and see,” responded Michael Joseph, Chairman of Safaricom Ethiopia PLC, adding that, “We’re confident in our technology, we’re confident and we know what needs to be done in this regard.”

In April 2022, Safaricom Ethiopia reached an agreement in principle with Ethio telecom to share cell sites, interconnection and tower assets in Ethiopia.

“Safaricom is reliant on Ethio telecom for infrastructures,” said Anwar, adding,” We use 100% fiber network of Ethio telecom, and its 1% of tower.”

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