Ethio Telecom to disconnect inactive prepaid SIM cards


East African telecoms firm, Ethio Telecom (ETC), plans to disconnect customers’ prepaid SIM cards that have been inactive for six months.

This is according to online telecoms publisher, Cellular News, which has reported that the switch off would be effective as early as the middle of this month.

According to telecoms research company, BuddeComm, state-owned Ethio Telecom is the country’s sole telecommunications providing, offering services including fixed, mobile, internet and data communications.

Last year BuddeComm released a research report that said Ethiopia recorded a 116% mobile market growth rate, the fastest of all countries on the continent as of mid-2011.

But the country has one of the lowest mobile, fixed line and internet penetration rates in the world.

BuddeComm says the country’s mobile penetration rate stands at 26% of its approximate 80 million people, while the nation’s fixed and internet penetration rates stand at 0.9% and 1.7% respectively.