Addis Ababa, 12 May 2022 (TDI): Earlier this week, Addis Ababa, on May 9, 2022, the capital of Ethiopia witnessed the ceremony of the pre-commercial 5G services trial in the country.

Ethiopia’s state-owned Ethio-Telecom launched the ceremony. During the ceremony, the partnership between Ethio-Telecom and Huawei, a telecom giant from China, was announced.

This is not the first time for China-Ethiopia cooperating on 5G construction and the development of information and communication technology (ICT) industries.

Ethio-Telecom has been working with Chinese telecom companies including Huawei and ZTE for years. However, the deceleration of 5G services cooperation is still significant for both sides.

The announcement offers China and Ethiopia an opportunity to further work together on the promotion of telecommunication.

Ethio-Telecom and 5G Services in Ethiopia

Ethio-Telecom is a state-owned company, also the only telecommunications operator in Ethiopia. Currently, the company has more than 60.8 million subscribers, with about 25 million data and Internet users.

Therefore, by taking the visionary 5G policy and collaborating with top Chinese companies, Ethio-Telecom can benefit millions of people.

Moreover, as the only telecom operator in Ethiopia, the Ethio-Telecom is a spokesman for Ethiopian national ICT strategy. Significantly, the launch of 5G is part of Ethiopia’s digital transformation.

With its high speed, reliability, and low latency rates, 5G networks can improve customer experience and help raise the overall standard of living of the Ethiopian people.

China Ethiopia 5G
A 5G technology-supported robot interacts with participants during the launching ceremony of pre-commercial 5G services trial in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on May 9, 2022.

During the event, Frehiwot Tamiru, the CEO of Ethio-Telecom, said “We are pleased and honored to launch the world’s advanced fifth-generation network. We are committed to seeing a digital Ethiopia, which will uplift our people’s overall living conditions”.

According to the company, Ethio-Telecom will initially launch 5G network services in six areas of Addis Ababa, the capital. Afterward, the service will expand across regional cities, reaching up to 150 sites over the coming 12 months.

China-Ethiopian 5G Cooperation and Huawei

China-Ethiopian digital cooperation did not start over a night. Since the digital transformation of economy and the construction of digital infrastructure are becoming hot topics in China-African cooperation, both sides are deepening bilateral discussions focused on relevant fields.

For instance, on April 15, 2022, Qin Yong, the Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Digital Economy Forum met with Teshome Toga Chanaka, the Ethiopian Ambassador to China.

Both sides agreed on the importance to accelerate the development of the digital economy. At the same time, both sides showed great interest in cooperating widely and deeply in relevant fields with efficient plans.

This time, Huawei, as an outstanding Chinese company in 5G services around the world, will be responsible to provide its Ethiopian partner with state-of-the-art solutions, reliable delivery, fast response, and trustable maintenance.

Furthermore, Huawei’s participation will encourage more Chinese and African companies to explore cooperation opportunities for the benefit of both sides.

China Works with Africa on Digital Infrastructure

China-African digital cooperation has made great progress during the past few years. China and Africa work on not only technology but also e-commerce, digital infrastructures, and so on.

Especially in the context of COVID-19, the significance and potential of the digital economy have emerged more than ever.

To seize this opportunity and strengthen the cooperation, the Entrepreneurs’ Initiative on China-Africa Digital Economy Cooperation came out in 2021.

Today, China and Africa highly emphasize the combination of finance and digital technology, and digital innovation in bilateral cooperation.

In addition, stable communication mechanism like the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) offers both sides regular opportunities to exchange opinions, discuss concerns, and make bilateral plans.

With strong interests and comprehensive cooperation mechanisms, China and Africa are able to achieve bigger success in digital cooperation shortly.

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