May 4 , 2019
By TEMESGEN MULUGETA ( FORTUNE STAFF WRITER )
Ethio telecom, the state monopoly operator, has introduced two new options - Unlimited Premium Mobile Service and Monthly Unlimited Premium Plus Mobile Service - packages that cover weekly, bi-weekly and monthly services on voice calls, text messages and internet services. The packages are for both international and local services.
The Unlimited Premium Mobile Service for voice and text packages are offered at 490 Br for weekly, 990 Br for bi-weekly and 1,900 Br for monthly; unlimited internet service and texting are offered for 490 Br a week, 990 Br for bi-weekly and 1,900 Br monthly. A combination of voice, text and internet services are offered for 850 Br for a weekly package, 1,700 Br for bi-weekly and 3,200 Br for monthly packages.
Monthly Unlimited Premium Plus Mobile Service is offered in two categories for local and international voice calls, text and data. In the first category, the offer is for unlimited local calls, text messages and internet use with 100 minutes of international voice calling and 50 international texts for 4,200 Br a month.
Under the second category, the offer includes 9,000 minutes of local calls, 870 local texts and the use of 100 GB of internet service. The package includes 60 minutes of international calls and 50 text messages for a monthly fee of 3,500 Br.
The offer became effective on March 23, 2019, and Ethio telecom hopes to raise customer satisfaction along with increasing its revenue, according to Ephrem Arefaine, chief marketing officer of Ethio telecom, adding that the company made no additional investment to expand its infrastructure for the new service.
"It is not targeted to increase the number of internet users," said Ephrem, "instead, it is to give unlimited access to users."
Since the new CEO of the company, Frehiwot Tamiru, assumed leadership of the company, the telecom giant has made two tariff amendments.
The company, which has 15,000 permanent employees, earned 16.7 billion Br in revenue in the first half of the current fiscal year, introduced a 43pc tariff reduction for internet and text messages, and cut the tariff by 54pc on its broadband internet service in August of last year.
The second tariff cut, announced last December, ranged between 10pc to 40pc on international mobile calls and a 51pc decrease on international text messaging.
The current service is introduced amidst the company’s extensive preparations for partial privatisation announced by the government in a policy shift last year. Telecommunication service was first introduced into Ethiopia in the late 19th century. The current configuration of Ethio telecom was established in 2010, and the company remains a major revenue generator for the state.
Philipos Lamore (PhD), assistant professor of Bahir Dar University's Business & Economics College, sees the new service in two lights. He says that the service relieves those who have a high consumption of telecom services but excludes users that are at low and middle-income levels.
"The company should explore ways that will benefit its excluded clients," Philipos said.
PUBLISHED ON May 04,2019 [ VOL 20 , NO 992]
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