ETC – Disconnecting Ethiopia from the Future

“Customer is a king (outside face of the advert), Customer is an asshole (inside face of the advert)”

I have got 6 customer service numbers to call ETC for help. Usually, none of them are available . If you are lucky and somebody picks up the phone, the answer is predictable. “It is nationwide problem. We are trying to fix it”. They are actually trying, but they never could fix it.

I called a month ago to ask why our connection is not working. A very weak voice from the other side of line said the problem is with the DNS server. I called again this morning. Yes, they have tried to fix the DNS server for more than a month now. But they couldn’t. I don’t think ETC can fix anything related to telecommunication – The only telecom company in Ethiopia.

This is actually one of the problems that customers are not complaining a lot about. There is more!

Seven out of ten mobile phone calls fail. It is impossible to use mobile phones for emergency purposes in Ethiopia. Relatively Addis got a better mobile network. In the regions, it is hard to communicate.

The Ethiopian Telecommunication Corporation (ETC) with gross profit of 3.5 billion ETB (2009) fails to satisfy customers in any of its services. ETC’s performance is below acceptable levels according to The Federal Special Support Board,%20EEPCo.htm

Dear the people who say we should help ETC instead of complaining, We are more than helping them. We pay 75 cents per minute and 800 birr(per month) for a dial up internet that barely works. It is a daylight robbery because you are neither getting the quality nor the right price. In my opinion calling the ETC guys they suck is like a compliment to them. They super suck! DG, Facebook group comment.

There is indeed few improvements. The price for leased line connections decreased significantly and new services are started, CDMA, GPRS for instance. Staring a new service is one thing, make it work is another thing. I have tried the CDMA service. It has been implemented by ZTE (Chinese telecom company). To start with, the software with the gadget usually comes with Chinese language interface (CDMA 1x) and the drivers are not working in many OS.

ETC has no idea how much money the country is wasting for its poor service. As most people said, what ETC can do most is digging streets of towns. This is also another funny thing about ETC. They usually dig streets to install cables (most fiber installations are finalized, the coverage is nearly in the whole country). But nobody looks interested to fix the streets. Every time you get bumped to broken street, I bet you, it was messed up by ETC. Their system is very poor that “mesmeroch hulu legizew teyezewal” message drives anyone crazy. What their system can do perfect is blocking websites. I really hope their crazy Japanese firewall doesn’t block my blog. If not, I will definitely have more to say about ETC.

“Connecting Ethiopia to the future”. This is ETC’s slogan. Probably, better words of choice for the one who failed to understand that everyone wants to get connected from now.

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