Market Research Logo

Ethiopia - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband & Forecasts


Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

The Ethiopia - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband & Forecasts report includes all BuddeComm research data and analysis on this country. Covering trends and developments in telecommunications, mobile, internet, broadband, infrastructure and regulation.


Executive summary

Ethiopia is the last country in Africa allowing its national telco, ETC a monopoly on all telecom services including fixed, mobile, Internet and data communications. This monopolistic control has stifled innovation and retarded expansion. The government tries to encourage foreign investment in a broad range of industries by allowing foreigners up to 100% equity ownership. However, there is no official schedule for the privatisation of the national carrier and the introduction of competition, but once this happens, the potential to satisfy unmet demand in all service sectors is huge.

Ethiopia has the second lowest telephone penetration rate in Africa, but it recently surpassed Egypt to become the second most populous nation on the continent after Nigeria. However, it is also one of the poorest countries in the world with approximately 80% of the population supporting themselves through subsistence agriculture, which accounts for more than half of the country’s GDP.

Despite the monopoly situation, subscriber growth in the mobile sector has been excellent at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of almost 90% since its inception in 1999 and more than 100% in the past six years. However, demand has been even stronger, and ETC has been unable to satisfy it. Ethiopia’s mobile market penetration is still one of the lowest in the world at little more than 3%. Fixed-line penetration is even lower, and this has also impacted on the development of the Internet sector. Prices of broadband connections are excessive.

Improvements are beginning to develop following massive investments into fixed-wireless and mobile network infrastructure, including third generation mobile technology, as well as a national fibre optic backbone. Ethiopia is investing an unusually large amount, around 10% of its GDP, into information & communication technology (ICT). However, telecommunications revenue has grown only moderately in comparison, at around 16% per annum. It has remained under 2% of GDP, a low figure in regional comparison.

Key highlights:

  • Forecasts for fixed-line, mobile and Internet markets to 2010 and 2015;
  • Comparison with other countries in the region in terms of GDP, mobile, fixed and Internet market penetration;
  • Detailed profile of the monopoly service provider in all market sectors;
  • Launch of 3G mobile service in market with excessive broadband pricing;
  • Extensive rollouts of national and international fibre infrastructure;
  • Multi-billion US$ investments planned before 2012.Fixed-line penetration in Ethiopia and other countries in the region - 2008
  • CountryFixed-line penetration
  • Djibouti1.4%
  • Somalia1.2%
  • Ethiopia1.1%
  • Sudan0.9%
  • Eritrea0.8%
  • Kenya0.7%
(Source: BuddeComm based on various sources)

  • Executive summary
    • Table Fixed-line penetration in Ethiopia and other countries in the region - 2008
  • Key statistics
    • Table Country statistics Ethiopia - 2010
    • Table Fixed-line network statistics - 2010
    • Table Internet provider statistics - 2010
    • Table Internet user statistics - 2010
    • Table Mobile statistics - 2010
    • Table National telecommunications authority
  • Market analysis 2009
    • Regional benchmarking
      • Table GDP per capita in Ethiopia and other countries in the region - 2009
      • Table Mobile penetration in Ethiopia and other countries in the region - 2008
      • Table Internet user penetration in Ethiopia and other countries in the region - 2008
      • Table Fixed-line penetration in Ethiopia and other countries in the region - 2008
  • Regulatory environment
    • Regulatory authority
      • Ethiopian Telecommunications Agency (ETA)
    • Telecom service licences
    • Telecom sector liberalisation
    • Privatisation of ETC
  • Fixed network operator
    • Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation
      • Table ETC revenue and profit - 2006 - 2008
      • Table Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1995 - 2010
      • Fixed-line infrastructure
      • Rural area networks
      • Wireless Local Loop (WLL)
      • Leased lines, data services
      • VSAT
      • National backbone network
      • Next Generation Network (NGN)
      • International infrastructure
      • US$4 billion network development plan 2007-2012
  • Internet market
    • Overview
    • Internet statistics
      • Table Internet users and penetration rate - 1996 - 2010
      • Table Internet subscribers - 1997 - 2008
    • National connectivity
    • Public Internet access locations
    • VoIP grey market
    • ISP market
      • EthioNet
      • Wholesale
  • Broadband market
    • Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
    • WiMAX
    • Broadband via satellite
  • Mobile communications
    • Overview of Ethiopia's mobile market
      • Mobile statistics
        • Table Mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 1999 - 2010
    • Mobile operator
      • Ethio-Mobile
    • Mobile voice services
      • Satellite mobile
    • Mobile data services
    • Third generation (3G)
    • Mobile banking
  • Forecasts
    • Forecast - mobile subscribers - 2012; 2015
      • Table Forecast mobile subscribers - 2012; 2015
    • Forecast - Internet users - 2012; 2015
      • Table Forecast Internet users - 2012; 2015
    • Notes on scenario forecasts

Download our eBook: How to Succeed Using Market Research

Learn how to effectively navigate the market research process to help guide your organization on the journey to success.

Download eBook

Share this report