Big changes for Tele

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The newly appointed CEO of Ethio-telecom, Freheiwot Tameru, announced that the telecom is undertaking major reforms.
Regional officers will now have more leeway to make decisions. This includes managers as well. It will eliminate the delay caused by having to wait for the head office before making plans.
The telecom monopoly also added a number of regions. Addis Ababa will get two regions and three others were added for the states. There will be a new Central North Addis Ababa and Central Western Addis Ababa region.
Also, the South West Region at Wolayita Sodo and North West Region at Gondor are being opened. The Harari Branch Office has been reorganized at a regional branch office level.
Previously there were 12 regions but now there are 17. The decision will save the waste of energy and resources and lessen the workload at headquarters.
The restructuring will also affect the zonal offices, according to the telecom.
The new salary structure was made effective last month. This will change the promotion and salary scale of employees. The evaluation based salary system is expected to decrease turnover and to attract talented employees.
The telecom monopoly has introduced a new SIM card which can be used for only three months. The new SIM card systems will be available for the Diaspora community by the upcoming New Year, said Frehiwot.
Also, the CEO revealed that the telecom is approaching supermarkets and shops to provide voucher and SIM cards.
“We don’t promote a private monopoly and we will provide the opportunity for everyone interested and meet the criteria,” she said. “We want to convert the current ratio between the scratch cards and electronic top up which now is 97 to 3 percent respectively. We can solve the currency problem, availability of our service and the quality of cards with the promotion of top-up.”
She also stated that the telecom has USD 1.5 billion in unpaid loans from the USD three billion of pledges. “There was no pledge paid in 2010 due to the currency crunch,” said Frehiwot.
The new international top-up system was also reported to be in the final stages. Residents overseas can charge accounts to Ethio-telecom services which should add some foreign currency.
“The project was first tested with USD 3,000 dollars and we will launch the service soon,” the CEO told the press.
A study conducted by the telecom reveals different kinds of problems including the bulk SMS service. The CEO said that customers lost 32 million birr last year with the unnecessary and inconvenient bulk SMS service that also defamed loyal customers of the telecom.
Frehiwot affirmed that the service discount made by the telecom and any other measures didn’t have any relationships with the decision of the government to liberalize the sector rather it is because the telecom is a commercial enterprise.
The new CEO, who was the founder of DOXA IT Technology PLC, said the rumor of a conflict of interest between her technology company and her public service is pointless.
“The two tasks have no similarities as DOXA is a technology company which was never involved in telecom related work,” Frehiwot responded to a question from Capital.