Ethio Telecom revealed ambitions to grow subscriber numbers by 10.3% to 73.5 million over the next year, despite competition coming in from Safaricom Ethiopia.
The operator faces stiff competition from Safaricom which gained a telecoms licence from Ethiopia’s telecoms regulator, after the government opened up its closed off economy to international investment.
In a translated statement, the company said it also intends to increase voice customers by 10.5% to 71 million, in this financial year. It is also targeting to hit ETB75 billion (US$1.4bn) in total revenue, a 22.4% boost if met.
Ethio Telecom noted it is “effectively facing a competitive market”, now that Safaricom has come in. It intends to focus on building on customer experience, business development, and advancement in technology as paths to growth.
Safaricom Ethiopia has laid out plans to expand its service to 25 locations by April next year. The fledgling operator has heavyweight backing from Safaricom Group, Vodacom, the British International Investment and Japanese corporation Sumitomo.
Safaricom chairman Michael Joseph vacated his position as chair to lead the company’s venture in Ethiopia, showcasing how valuable the Ethiopian market could potentially be for the consortium.
The company said that it ended its three-year plan Bridge, and began its next one called Lead in July.
During its Bridge plan, the company increased capital expenditure to ETB400 billion enabling it to expand into mobile finance and related digital financial services.
Additionally, Ethio Telecom also increased its network coverage and capacity, by building out its infrastructure. The company also built a modular data centre.
The company also pointed out it paid ETB86.6 billion in taxed and ETB11.5 billion in dividends, to highlight its contribution to the economy and shareholders.