Faster internet for Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa rolls out 4G mobile service

Ethiopia's state-run telecoms monopoly has launched a fourth generation (4G) mobile service in Addis Ababa as part of a $1.6 billion project whose costs are being split between Ethiopia and Huawei Technologies, a Chinese firm and the world's second largest telecom equipment manufacturer.

Large swathes of Ethiopia has unreliable mobile reception but the country is now catching up with its east African neighbours Uganda and Kenya where high-speed communications is widely available.

4G provides fast speeds and allows users to browse the internet more quickly as well as run complex applications. Ethio Telecom is the only mobile operator in the nation, one of the last countries in Africa to keep a state monopoly in the telecom sector.

Ethiopia has ruled out liberalising its telecom sector, stating that the annual revenue generated (upwards of $300 million) is invested in railway infrastructure. The country plans to build 5,000 km of railway lines by 2020.