Ethio telecom, previously known as the Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation (ETC), is an integrated telecommunications services provider in Ethiopia, providing internet and telephone services. Ethio telecom is owned by the Ethiopian government and maintains a monopoly over all telecommunication services in Ethiopia. Based in Addis Ababa, it is one of the "Big-5" group of state owned corporations in Ethiopia, along with Ethiopian Airlines, the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, Ethio-Insurance, and the Ethiopian Shipping Lines.
Ethio telecom was managed, on a management contract arrangement from 2010 to 2013 June, by France Télécom, and was required to comply with Ethiopian Government ord The government said it outsourced the management as ETC was not able to meet the demands of the fast-growing country. It also said that telecommunications services would not be privatized, at least not in the near future. Ethio telecom generates a revenue of over US$ 300 million for the Ethiopian government, and was dubbed a "cash cow" by the previous Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn
Originally a division of the Ministry of Post, Telephone and Telegraph, what would become the ETC was established as the Imperial Board of Telecommunications of Ethiopia (IBTE) by proclamation No. 131/52 in 1952. Under the Derg Regime, the IBTE was reorganized as the Ethiopian Telecommunications Service on October 1975, which was in turn reorganized on January 1981 as the Ethiopian Telecommunications Authority. On November 1996, the Ethiopian Telecommunications Authority became ETC by Council of Ministers regulation No. 10/1996. The subsequent Proclamation 49/1996 expanded the ETC's duties and responsibilities. For its international traffic links and communication services, ETC mainly uses its earth station at Sululta which transmits and receives to both Indian Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean satellites.
In late 2006, the ETC signed an agreement worth US$1.5 billion with three Chinese companies, ZTE Corporation, Huawei Technologies and the Chinese International Telecommunication Construction Corporation, to upgrade and expand Ethiopian telecommunications services. This agreement will increase the number of mobile services from 1.5 million to 7 million, land line telephone services from 1 million to 4 million, and expansion of the fibre optic network, from the present 4,000 kilometers to 10,000 by 2010. It is part of a larger US$ 2.4 billion plan by the Ethiopian government to improve the country’s telecommunications infrastructure. In 2018, the mobile service business has reached 85% of the country. In November 2017, it was reported that Ethio Telecom had 57 million subscribers making it the largest telecommunication services operator in the continent. The operator runs three terrestrial fiber optic cables with a capacity of 42 Gbps to connect Ethiopia to the rest of the world via Kenya, Djibouti and Sudan