Ethio-telecom begins outsourcing gadget sales

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Frehiwot Tamru

Ethio-telecom started a shop-in-shop project for six broadband gadgets, allowing them to be sold in their service centers by private suppliers. The telecom has invited businesses to install a sales corner in their existing service centers. So far three agreements have been made and a fourth was approved previously.
The companies are expected to come up with proposals and fulfill the listed requirements. They must have a renewed business registration, provision of after-sales service, provision of accessory supply, adherence with the working hours and brand management of the telecom and meet the quality requirements for the devices they sell.
“We were not able to meet our customer’s demand to provide gadgets for broadband after we decreased the service tariff,” said Mohamed Haji, Sales Officer at the Telecom. “Because of the scarcity in the devices, we were not able to sell our services which also affected our performance. We did a survey and we found out that outsourcing would solve the problem, then some companies approached us with proposals to sell the devices.”
In just a week, the telecom was able to attract close to six interested companies in addition to the ones that have already signed. We are still accepting applications, he added.
The companies are expected to work with their own staff and the telecom will be looking to the quality of the products provided by them. Also prior to the contract, the Telcom will cheek the device quality of the suppliers.
The companies are obliged to provide maintenance service for the gadgets they provide. The telecom provides the service to the customer. The companies only sell the devices; they do not have anything else to do with any telecom services.
The telecom has not bind itself in any commitment that would prevent them from selling a device in shops where the private operators are functioning. It is considering not being involved in selling broadband devices, according to Mohamed.
“We are facing foreign exchange problems hindering us from providing the devices,” said Mohammed.
The telecom is planning to implement the project in its 217 candidate shops. However, in this first phase we will only do it in 20 shops,” said Mohamed. “Response has been positive though it has only been a week since we announced the proposal. We do want other businesspeople to get involved, so far only people that have supplies in stock have approached us,” he added.
He went on to say that this is an example of a positive public-private partnership.
“We are implementing a win-win approach and we think this will make our customers happier. We were losing many services because of the gadget shortage so this should increase service sales as well.”
After the telecom announced a significant price discount for service the number of broadband Internet users has increased.
It was on November 2018 that the Telecom decreased broadband Internet price up to 54 percent, Mobile Internet and SMS service up to 43 percent and voice services up to 40 percent.
The former price which was adjusted in December 2016 was levied 35 cents on 2G/3G and 4G of mobile networks from the previous 46 cents for 2G and 3G and 55 cents for 4G.
Frehiwot Tamru, CEO of the Telecom, stated that the price reduction would not affect the revenue of the telecom.
In a related development, the telecom signed agreements with companies that won a procurement to work with Etio-telecom on a franchise basis.
Three companies are working in 94 service centers. Hedase Telecom took 82 shops around the country. Bravocom Plc which was formerly the sole agent of NOKIA Mobile took charge of shops as well.