Abdurrahman Ahmed, spokesperson from Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation, says that ETC has signed a contract worth about US$2.4 billion with three Chinese companies to help upgrade and expand the African nation's telecom services.
Eight companies, including Siemens, Nokia, Alcatel and Ericsson, participated in the bidding, but ultimately three Chinese companies, ZTE, Huawei and China International Telecommunication Construction Corporation, won the deal.
According to their contract, these three will help ETC extend its fiber cable from current 4000 kilometers to 10000 kilometers before 2010. Among other strategic plans, according to Abdurrahman, are increasing the number of mobile subscribers from 1.5 million to 7 million and expansion of fixed telephone network capacity, which is now one million, to 4 million,
According to officials, due to the size and complexity of the projects which ETC envisioned to undertake, the corporation has devised a scheme where telecom equipment suppliers will make use of this opportunity and arrange vendor financing scheme so that they can supply goods and service as may be required by the project.