Ethiopians set to acquire smartphones on loan and pay later via installments

Ethio Telecom is, in a bid to boost the country’s overall mobile phone penetration and smartphone usage, set to introduce a device financing scheme which will enable subscribers to acquire smartphones and pay for the same via installments.

The financing scheme has been designed for subscribers who are unable to pay for a smartphone at one go and comes in two credit options. Under the first option, a buyer will take the phone and pay for it in monthly installments while in the second scheme, payments will be done in the form of deductions, while the buyer uses internet, data and SMS services.

In both options, the payment will be completed after one or two years according to the client’s ability to make deposits.

The scheme, expected to be launched in a month’s time, also aims at upgrading customers from using feature phones to smartphones.

With the new scheme, the telco aims to grow its smartphone users from the current 33 per cent to 60 per cent.

Ethiopia currently has about 56.1 million functional mobile phones out which only 33 per cent, that is about 18.5 million, are smartphones.

Ethio Telecom is seeking partnerships with phone suppliers, manufacturers, importers, assemblers, and financial to work out credit arrangements.

”The research we conducted showed us that many people don’t have the financial capability to afford smartphones. We’re in negotiation with suppliers and financial institutions to get and supply the devices to customers on credit,” Ephrem Arefaine, Ethio Telecom’s CMO told Addis Fortune in an interview.

In an effort to further mobile penetration and usage, Ethio Telecom last year invested 50.4 million Birr ($1.56 million) to distribute 70,000 mobile handsets to rural women.


Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.