Safaricom Ethiopia has begun a large-scale customer trial of its network after announcing plans to launch commercial operations in Ethiopia within the year, in Dire Dawa.

The customer pilot in Dire Dawa will be on 2G, 3G and 4G networks; customers will be able to purchase SIM cards and choose their preferred numbers on Safaricom Ethiopia's 07 prefixes. The Safaricom Ethiopia SIM cards will be available in branded shops and will include offers for data, voice and SMS, allowing customers to test and experience the network for one month.

Three shops, in the Keira, Meskelegna and Cornell areas, will be open to the public for customer registration, device purchases and dedicated customer support. In addition, customers can access customer care services by dialing 700 to speak with a customer experience agent in their preferred language (Amharic, Afaan Oromo, Ag-Somali, Tigrigna and English).

Safaricom Ethiopia's network and services should be available in 25 cities by April 2023, funded by an estimated US$1 billion investment and a large recruitment drive. In preparation, Safaricom Ethiopia also secured approvals for tower development, built two data centers, made the first test call, sent out the first test SMS and completed the first data session.

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