tele-birr mobile money service is expected to develop into a platform that moves 40 to 50 percent of Ethiopia’s GDP within the next five years, ethio-telecom revealed.
While launching 4G LTE Advanced service in the East (Dire Dawa, Ayisha, Chiro) and Central East Region (Harar, Aweday, haramaya) this week, CEO of ethio-telecom, Frehiwot Tamiru stated that through its new mobile money service the company is working to progressively establish tele-birr as the main money flowing platform in the country.
Apart from bridging the financial inclusion gap in the country, tele-birr is expected to harness a regulated financial flow, which in turn will increase the overall development of the country and individuals through its contribution to increased savings, encouraging entrepreneurship and investment and boosting the economy, Frehiwot said during the launching ceremony.
Since being launched a couple of weeks ago, Frehiwot pointed out, tele-birr has already drawn 2.4 million subscribers and it plans to have 12 million subscribers in its first year of operation.
Since the company introduced a massive tariff adjustment, the number of internet users has increased significantly. Since July 2018, for instance, internet users increased by 38 percent and the total number of internet subscribers has reached 25 million.
According to Frehiwot, the total number of ethio-telecom customers has reached 54.7 million people. Of these, 52.8 million people are mobile service customers and 25 million of the total customers are internet users. The latter has shown significant progress.
The broadband service had a lot of constraints in the last couple of years and many customers complained about the service, Frehiwot said. She stressed, however, that through the adjusted business policy introduced recently by the company, the figure has jumped to 349,000 from 66,000 in 2018.
Broadband connects big enterprises and financial institutions with many branches across the country. Frehiwot indicated that the increase in broadband users has a direct and significant contribution to the GDP growth of the country.