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Hazel Mwaka Mwazonga
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Visited Ethiopia

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Africa > Ethiopia > Useful Info
Submitted on Jun 21, 2020 Useful Info

Sim cards and Internet in Ethiopia

  • Internet coverage in Ethiopia is low at about 15% countrywide. Ethiopia has only one internet and sim card telecommunication provider- Ethiopian telecom (ETC).

Ethiopia Internet Information

  • Data speeds: Addis Ababa is on all 2G/3G and 4G networks. 4 G is still slow with an average speed of 2Mb/s for downloads and 0.5 Mb/s for uploads.
  • There's extensive surveillance of internet usage in Ethiopia. Most cybercafes I walked into while in Addis Ababa have to register you before offering you any service. Individual internet usage is also closely monitored, the state can shut down your internet access at any time if you don't comply with their regulations. To avoid this keep of political discussions or being critical of the government online.

Sim cards in Ethiopia

  • ETC sim cards are the only available sim cards and are sold at ETC shops countrywide. There's an ETC desk at terminal 2 Arrivals in Addis Ababa's Bole international airport.
  • A few years back you would have to register your phone with either ETC or customs but that's no longer necessary currently.
  • Sim card cost: ETB 30 and come with ETB 15 worth of credit. You'll pay an extra ETB 20 if you want your sim card cut to nano size.
  • What you need to purchase a sim card
  1. A filled customer application form (CAF).
  2. A copy of your passport
  3. A passport-sized photograph of yourself. They'll take this at the ETC shop.
  • Some ETC shops reject passport photocopies and want a scanned copy of your passport.
  • Some touts and traders also sell sim cards in the streets sell already registered at almost 10 times more the official price. This is illegal and your sim card can be disabled at any time.
  • Data packages start at ETB 3 for 25 Mb to ETB 4900 for unlimited data valid for one month.
  • 2G users cannot purchase more than 500MB.
  • To purchase any mobile data package dial *999#.