Mobile banking service providers are eying a surge in customers following the launch of 4G LTE advanced service in Jigjiga. Exceptionally, Jigjiga has witnessed a significant growth in mobile banking services over the last two years, a trend which is less common in other cities, including Addis Ababa.
Trading activities, even for small commodities, have been conducted using mobile money. The situation is expected to be more common because of the newly launched 4G LTE services.
Befikadu Abiyu, Director of ethio telecom East region, explained that the launch of LTE Advanced services in the Somali region has multiple purposes.
He explained that residents of Jigjiga and Somali region have better know-how and interest in using digital technology.
“This has prompted us to undertake additional network expansion projects in the region with a view to increase network coverage and capacity,” Befikadu said.
Initially, ethio telecom used copper technology, which usually leads to network interruption and lower connection speed. According to Befikadu, the latest 4G service is launched after it installed an optic fiber, which helps it provide uninterrupted telecom services to every household.
“People in the region have the trend of using the internet and economic activities are mostly managed with mobile services. There are around four mobile and internet banking service providers in the region. This is something you don’t see in other regions,” he said.
SAHAY mobile banking company is one of the service providers in the capital Jigjiga, providing services such as cash withdrawals, deposit, transfer funds, buying airtime and goods.
Hello cash is the other mobile money service provider in Somali region. It currently has 115,349 account holders in Somali, transacting more than seven million birr daily.
Frehiwot Tamiru, CEO of ethio-telecom, announced that the launch of LTE Advanced Services in the East East Region has covered towns, including Jigjiga, Gode, Warder, Fik, Kebribeyah, Kebridehar, and Degehabur, where high mobile data traffic has been observed.