Sunday, August 7, 2022

Internet & Communications in Ethiopia

AfricaEthiopiaInternet & Communications in Ethiopia

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The dialing code for Ethiopia is 251. Addis Abeba’s city code is 011. (or 11 from outside Ethiopia).


Ethiopia has among of the poorest connections in the world. Ethio Telecom (ETC) operates the mobile telecom network, which utilizes GSM (like in Europe/Africa) and has limited 3G (1x EV-DO service) and 2G (CDMA) service. Currently, there is enough voice coverage in small towns. According to March 2015, this seems to have been improved, and both calls and roaming now function flawlessly (at least around urban areas).

A mobile phone is required for all travelers. It is inexpensive and widely accessible. Without costly fees and permits, satellite phones and VSAT equipment are severely limited or banned.

ArifMobile is one of the few shops that rent SIM cards. Purchasing a SIM card, on the other hand, is cheap and can be done anyplace that sells phones. To avoid being taken off, purchase it from an Ethio Telecom store. A SIM card costs 15 birr as of March 2015, and the system needs the vendor to take a picture of you and your passport information in order to activate your SIM. You will be required to sign a contract stating that you will not conduct any crimes using your phone. All local shops will sell calling cards that can be used to make international calls. Prepaid cards in amounts of 2000, 500, 100, 50, and 25 birr and smaller are used to top up phones for domestic calls.

In general, calls, SMS, and roaming are reasonably priced.


Less than one million individuals in the nation have internet connection, and it is very restricted. There are many internet cafés in Addis Abeba, Dire Dawa, Nazret, Bahir Dar, Gonder, Awasa, and other places, although their speeds are often dial-up at best, and some are illegal. Most of the time, connection speeds in Addis Abeba are more than sufficient for completing activities like as checking e-mail. A typical internet café will have a dozen PCs sharing a single “broadband” connection (really 3G mobile internet speeds starting at 128kbit/s). ADSL is available, although it is costly and usually reserved for business clients. The internet connection at the Addis Sheraton matches that of most Western hotels, however it costs USD30 for a 24-hour access. Ethiopia’s international connectivity is shaky: On bad days, even a broadband connection will only provide dial-up service since the whole country’s traffic is routed via an inadequate backup satellite link. The administration has said that it intends to bring out 4G LTE connectivity.

In the larger cities, using the internet costs between 25 and 35 Ethiopian cents a minute, while outside of the cities, it frequently costs more than 1 birr per minute. Keep an eye out for computer infections! The majority of PCs and flash drives in use are infected.

Outside of larger cities, it is more difficult to locate a functioning Internet connection, and the price per minute is often considerably more than in larger cities.

Ethiopia is presently implementing an internet filter, therefore to access banned sites, utilize a VPN or the free, open-source TOR Project. As of July 2012, personal usage of VoIP services such as Skype was allowed.

Postal services

Ethiopia boasts one of Africa’s most efficient postal systems. Many credit Ethiopian Airlines’ vast network for its success. Mail, on the other hand, is not delivered to your address. You must purchase a post office box. The flow of your mail will be constant after you acquire a post office box.


Capital and The Reporter are two English-language newspapers that cost 5 birr apiece.

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