Tele to redistribute pay-phones, provide wifi on Ethiopian flights


Plans to charge for Whatsapp, Facebook texts

Ethio-telecom and Ethiopian airlines agreed to begin phone call service and WiFi services both on local and international flights.
Ethio-telecom has also decided to collect its existing 800 public pay phones and relocate them in prisons, hospitals and public universities. The telecom also has decided that there will not be more purchase of public phones as the penetration of other technologies diminished the demand.
“We were not getting reasonable revenue from the service and it is not feasible to run the technology without a profit,” said Cherer Aklilu, the Executive Manager of the CEO office. “After the penetration of the mobile phones the use for the public phones has become insignificant and that’s why we decide to relocate them in places where they can serve more.”
The public pay phones, which are already expired according to their production life span, are going to be maintained. The phones were bought before the introduction of the one birr coin and the maintenance is said to introduce the cents too.
The latest relocation will provide customers pay phone services at places where the possibility of access to other kinds of call services are rare.
The telecom also reached an agreement with Ethiopian Airlines to start air connectivity for local and international flights. The service is going to avail traveler’s need for WiFi.
“We have told the airline that we are ready to provide the service and now we are contacting global companies which are going to provide us an access to the satellite,” added Said Aragaw Chief International Business Officer.
The airline stated that it will launch the project after January 15 and that it expects it to transform its business and increase its competence in the global market.
The newly established division in the telecom, international business, also started negotiations with App operators like Whatsapp and Facebook to pay for SMS they send for their users, which was not monetized before.
“Currently we have international voice service agreements with 27 bilateral partners in order to provide voice service,” he said.