Ethio Telecom posted a 20% rise in H1 revenues to ETB33.8 billion (US$631m) despite fresh competition from international player Safaricom, Reuters reported.
Ethio Telecom CEO Frehiwot Tamiru said in a news conference the operator’s mobile money service Telebirr which launched in May 2021, grew from 21.8 million to 27.2 million, out of its 70 million total subscribers.
The company faced stiff competition from Safaricom Ethiopia, a joint effort from Safaricom, Vodafone, Vodacom and Sumitomo. Safaricom Ethiopia launched services in October and now has coverage in 21 cities across Ethiopia.
Ethiopia was one of the last markets closed off from international players, seen as a key opportunity for growth due to its sizeable 110 million population. The Ethiopian government began opening up its economy in 2018 and has revived a process to sell a 40% stake in Ethio telecom, and also grant a second telecoms licence to another player.