Ethiopian fixed line and mobile monopoly operator Ethio Telecom has announced that it has extended telecoms network access to over 16,000 out of 18,000 kebeles, or settlements, in the country. Head of communication Abdurahim Ahmed said that over the last decade the telco has also reduced the maximum distance that people from rural communities have to travel to use telecom services – ten years ago the distance was as far as 30km but now the maximum distance is 5km. Attributing the improvements to government policy and technological advancement, he added that by the end of 2015, the incumbent intends to offer its services to every kebele in Ethiopia. The company has raised the nation’s combined fixed line and cellular penetration from less than 1% ten years ago to roughly 30% today, with the total number of Ethio Telecom customers having surpassed 27 million.
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