Ethiopia: Ethio Telecom Targets Rooftop Acquisitions

Telecoms

Authored by managers at ethio telecom, the federal government may soon write a bill that will force developers of buildings to avail rooftops for the erection of wireless network antennas, says a report in Addis Fortune.

If legislated, the bill will also compel the state owned telecom monopoly to pay building owners for the service they provide; a source with knowledge to the plan, told Fortune.

This comes following severe complaints from mobile users of repeated call interruptions, frequent drops and poor quality of sound during conversation. ethio telecom has 20.3 million subscribers of mobile telephony, with nearly 65pc living in the capital, according to data released on December 30, 2012. Experts at ethio telecom blame high-rise buildings in Addis Abeba for the obstruction of network. Hailemariam Desalegn, prime minister, told MPs in October, 2012, during his first address, after appointed premier, that high-rise buildings are causing network problem.

"The current telecom poles erected on the ground are almost becoming useless," Abdurahim Ahmed, head of public relations department, told Fortune. "Some are completely blocked by the buildings."

ethio telecom has identified around 217 locations in the capital where such problems are highly visible. Of these, buildings in 82 locations are identified to have caused serious problem, including structures in Piazza, Bole, La Gare and Addis Ketema areas.