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Ethio Telecom Considers Acquiring Communication Satellite

Ethiopian operator Ethio Telecom is planning to acquire a communication satellite, reports, citing a senior company official. The official said the operator is contemplating using a communications satellite to serve the education, health and agriculture sectors, where there is no telecom infrastructure.

There has been a previous effort by the former management of Ethio Telecom to acquire one, but this was aborted when another governmental organization, Information Network Security Agency (INSA), proposed to get such a satellite.

Ethio Telecom spends USD 12 million on annual fees for satellite services and the expense soars when satellite services are used by media, aviation and national security institutions. Experts said that the fact that national access to satellite communication and information through satellite depends on the goodwill of service providers, makes it essential for the country to launch its own satellite, according to The Reporter.

South Africa, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco and Nigeria are the African countries that have launched their own satellites. A communication satellite could cost more than USD 100 million. The application of a satellite system to provide data for commercial farmers increases yields and reduces waste. It can be used by mining and construction firms, too. The satellite service would complement its fibre-optics system.― Telecompaper

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