Ethiopia's Ethio Telecom has signed an $800m deal with Chinese telecom firm ZTE to boost its mobile phone infrastructure in the country.
The deal, which is half of $1.6bn telecommunications expansion project with Huawei Technologies, also involves launching of a high-speed 4G broadband network in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, in addition to a 3G service all through the country.
Ethio Telecom acting head Andualem Admassie said: "The expansion is vital to attain Ethio Telecom's objective of increasing telecom service access and coverage across the nation, as well as to upgrade existing network to new technology."
According to Ethio Telecom, the expansion forms part of a 'growth and transformation plan', which is an economic proposal aimed at assisting Ethiopia to reach middle-income status by 2025.
The deal would also enable Ethiopia Telecom to double its subscriber numbers to over 50 million.
Reports also reveal that less than 1% of Ethiopia's populace of 85 million has access to the internet on mobile phones, with 23% of them subscribing to mobile phones.