Ethiopian Mobile Coverage at 7.3% Says Report

According to the 2011 Information Economy Report, Ethiopian mobile phone penetration is a little more than 7%. The report was released on October 19th by the UN Conference on Trade and Development in association with the UN Economic Commission for Africa. Expansion of mobile phone services may require an atmosphere of competition between different service providers according to Remi Lang, Economic Affairs officer at UNCTAD. Opening the telecom industry to foreign competitors could result in better performance he suggested.
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The report addressed the importance of technological expansion for efficient financial transactions such as mobile money. It also mentioned the need for better quality broadband internet services to support the public sector.

The report cites the experiences of Kenya and Uganda in utilizing mobile technology to transfer remittance payments. This system has made the transaction more efficient and benefited the economies of the countries according to the report.

It is to be remembered that M-Birr Limited, an Irish company concluded a deal with the National Bank of Ethiopia and Ethio Telecom to start providing mobile banking solution to financial institutions through M-Birr ICT Services Plc, its subsidiary Ethiopia.


M-Birr will install two huge data centers here which will support and streamline the mobile banking services.

The mobile banking service, also known as SMS banking or M-banking, allows clients to check their balance, make transaction and payments from their accounts, and perform credit application and other banking transactions from their cell phones.  This was first featured in the largest Ethiopian business portal.