Internet subscribers rise sharply

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New internet service customers at the state monopoly Ethio Telecom has tripled in the past couple of weeks because of price cut and the latest stay at home initiative for COVID-19.
About a month ago the service provider disclosed massive tariff slash for enterprises and private data users aiming to ensure access to the internet service.
According to the observation that Capital conducted in the past few weeks new internet subscribers and others that look more services are visiting the telecom shops.
Sales staff at the state monopoly stated that the number of subscribers increased sharply in the last couple of weeks. One of the telecom sales staff told Capital that the demand is not only for companies but for private users.
He said that in the past broadband technical survey, which is the evaluation of availability of quality and line at the location of demands, used to take a maximum of seven days but that jumped to two weeks now. “This is the effect that the service provider is taking huge demands at a time,” he said.
A company that is looking to get more data access told Capital that it has been told by the sales staff to wait for two weeks because of customers overcrowded.
One of the telecom sales staff told Capital that in the past couple of weeks the internet subscribers demand has almost tripled compared with the previous trend.
He suggested that the growing demand might be related with the price reduction by his enterprise. “May be the growing demand is also correlated with the global corona virus pandemic that forced significant number of resident in Addis Ababa to stay at home,” he said.
According to the sales staffs at both offices at the enterprise and individual customers divisions, the demand is for both ADSL/fixed broadband and mobile broadband internet services.
“I heard that at any given time at least 20 customers are lined up with a single sales representatives at the enterprise branch,” one of the sales staff said.
On the precaution of the outbreak of COVID 19 some private companies are engaged on buying mobile broadband (dongle 4G) services for their staff to continue their work from home. Recently the government applied the ‘work from home’ scheme for the majority portion of civil servants, while the private sector has not yet disclosed similar measures.
According to market observation, due to the growing demand apparatus shortage occurred, while Ethio Telecom is not selling the products.
On the broadband internet service tariff reduction, residential service users get up to a 69 percent discount while VPN service users will enjoy up to 72 percent discount. Moreover enterprises have got a 65 percent discount that has been applied as of last month.