Ethio Telecom Collects 36.3bln Br Revenue

ADDIS ABABA – State-owned telecom service provider Ethio-telecom has collected all-time high revenue in the concluded Ethiopian fiscal year, according to its CEO.

For the 2018/19 fiscal year, the company has amassed 36.3 billion Birr in revenue before tax. The figure surpassed the 2017/18 fiscal year revenue by 5.6 percent, Frehiwot Tameru, CEO of Ethio telecom, told reporters on Tuesday.

The recent tariff discount in its basic telecom services and wide ranges of reforms conducted in the company has significantly contributed to the rise of its revenue, she said.

Along with the revenue surge, Ethio-telecom total subscribers have reached 43.6 million.

The state-run company has achieved 95 percent of its target for the fiscal year, said Frehiwot.

During the period, the company managed to pay 16.2 billion birr tax. Out of this, she said over 4.1 billion Birr was overdue, whose payment should have been paid years ago.

It also managed to pay close to 10bln birr of its loan accumulated for the past three years.

Overall, the CEO described the performance of soon to be partially privatized company “remarkable”.

The performance for the fiscal year was achieved not without hiccups.

Ethio Telecom had to endure several attempts of theft, telecom fraud and challenges emanated from cyber optics disruption, among others.

At least 2, 733 technical glitches on telecom networks have been recorded in the concluded fiscal year. Some were man-made while others are related to natural causes, Frehiwot said.

She also said internet blackouts and interruptions in the year had an impact on its performance but not as some reports made out to be.

The company has failed to collect over 204 million birr during the period due to internet interruptions, the CEO said.

Some media reports say the company lost at least 4.5 million USD daily during internet blackouts periods.

“It is a total white lie. Simple multiplication could tell you that was not the case,” she said. “It was just a mere attempt to undermine the company’s reputation”.

She also said: “the company understands the reason for the shutdown”.

“We are in the process of building a country. The safety and security of citizens should be the priority, before anything else,” Frehiwot said.

The company is currently preparing itself to be a more competitive and more preferable telecom provider as the government plans to open up the sector for foreign companies within nine months.

Ethio telecom will be ready for completion, she said, adding that. “The future is full of opportunities and challenges (coming with the privatization), and we have to improve our performance even more”.

By Sisay Sahlu