The population of the African country of Ethiopia is 109.5 million people, while the penetration of mobile communications has reached 63% (this is more than 68.3 million connections). It is clear that a lot of international voice traffic is generated in the country. However, are the conditions there favorable for work in the GSM termination business?
There is only one mobile operator in Ethiopia - Ethio Telecom. Moreover, it is the only provider of all telecommunications services in the country. For years, Ethio Telecom’s monopoly used to limit any innovation and expansion of networks. However, a contract was signed with the Orange Group to manage the company, which significantly improved the quality of services. Also, a lot of money has been invested in infrastructure development over the recent years. Still, the cellular penetration in Ethiopia is considered one of the lowest in the African continent.
Mobile communication in the country is often interrupted, which is not very suitable for termination. Networks are often overloaded and the situation may worsen due to bad weather conditions. GSM coverage is very low outside the capital and major cities, so we recommend to locate gateways in large settlements, as well as to ensure sufficient signal quality in the area you choose.
To buy a SIM-card in Ethiopia, you will have to show your ID documents. Prepaid SIM cards in this country must be registered. But at the airport, local merchants can come to you and offer the cards already registered to someone's name. While in the official store the card will cost you only $1 and 50 cents of the original loan will be on your balance, at the airport it will cost $20. This is expensive for termination, therefore we recommend finding other sources of SIM-cards, for example, finding sellers in online forums.
Mobile communication in Ethiopia is not too expensive, a minute of local call costs about $0.02. With average voip call rates to ethiopia of about 5 cents per minute, the terminator can earn $80 and more from each gateway channel.