Ethiopia to acquire a communication satellite through Ethio Telecom

Ethiopian operator Ethio Telecom, is planning to acquire a communication satellite to serve the education, health and agriculture sectors, where there is no telecom infrastructure. 

There was, previously, an effort launched by former management of Ethio Telecom to acquire a communication satellite. However, the plan was aborted when another governmental organization, Information Network Security Agency (INSA) proposed to acquire communication satellite. “There was a similar plan launched by INSA. The same proposal was made by two governmental organizations. So, it was a waste of resource. The former management of Ethio Telecom suspended the plan,” the official said.

Ethio Telecom spends USD 12 million on annual fees for satellite services and the expense soars when satellite services are used by media, aviation and national security institutions. Experts said that the fact that national access to satellite communication and information through satellite depends on the goodwill of service providers, makes it essential for the country to launch its own satellite.

Ethio telecom, previously known as the Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation, is an integrated telecommunications services provider in Ethiopia, providing internet and telephone services. Ethio telecom is owned by the Ethiopian government and maintains a monopoly over all telecommunication services in Ethiopia.

A senior official of Ethio Telecom mentioned, “Satellite is used for commercial and military purposes. For civilian purposes it can be used for broadcasting and telecom services. We are anticipating to use satellite to cater telecom services for the health, education and agriculture sectors where we do not have telecom infrastructure,” the official said.

However, the new management of Ethio Telecom is now considering to acquire a communication satellite. “We are working on the plan. We will work on the strategy and present it to the government for approval,” the official said.