Safaricom Customers Over A Million in Ethiopia
Africa Industry

Safaricom Customers Over A Million in Ethiopia

Leading regional telecommunication company Safaricom has onboarded more than million customers since its entry into the Ethiopian market since its launch last May.

The last three months have seen a marked rise in the numbers of customers onboarding Safaricom with the numbers going up by 300,000 in the last one month.

By September 30, Safaricom Ethiopia had onboarded 180,000 customers, who jumped to 740,000 at the end of October.

Safaricom says it has launched several products in the Ethiopian market to attract more customers.

“Safaricom Ethiopia commenced the phased commercial launch of its network and services, starting with a city-by-city customer pilot phase (providing national and international voice, data, and internet services to customers) across the country to conduct rigorous tests to ensure the provision of quality services,” said Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa.

Among the products already launched by Safaricom in Ethiopia include a Prepay products- Data, Voice, SMS, Digital EKYC process, Outsourced call centre – over 500 agents, Branded range of Safaricom devices – 2G, 4G feature phones, 4G smartphones and PostPay, VAS products, and digital products on the roadmap

The carrier also has 561 active 2G/3G/4G sites, 2 data centres, 931 sites under construction, and 49 shared sites. 61 of the total sites are shared, having signed all tower-sharing agreements.

Safaricom has also invested in $ 100 million data centre and has managed to erect two of such facilities in Ethiopia.

The company says it is committed to providing commercial services in 25 cities and meeting Safaricom Ethiopia’s License network coverage obligations (25% population) required by March 2023.

The Safaricom Ethiopia story started a long time ago. The Ethiopia bid was a tough one and involved a lot of telecom companies, but Safaricom was picked in the long run.

It took a long time to examine, and following a higher investment over rivals (it reportedly bid $850 million), Safaricom, which was supported by other partners (Vodacom Group, Sumitomo Corporation, and CDC Group) named Global Partnership for Ethiopia (GPE), was finally given a go ahead to launch in Ethiopia in May 2021.

By the end of last year Safaricom Ethiopia started hiring staff as it planned a commercial launch. While it managed to secure a lot of workers from its native country, some of the staff were also from Kenya.

Today, the staff includes 479 Ethiopians and 176 ex-pats. There are 66 distributor shops, 2000 sim-selling shops, and 652 call centre staff.