Lehager YekochewOctober 15, 2020I’m a telecom skilled with greater than 40 years of expertise within the business. I’ve helped remodel telecom networks and labored on all the cell community methods together with 2G, 3G, 4G and now 5G in the usA, Europe, Asia and Africa. In-addition I’ve labored in massive expertise firms which have deployed cloud options and knowledge facilities globally. Though the present state of the Ethiopian telecommunication system is archaic, since Ethiopia is my nation of start, I’ve determined to dedicate my remaining working life to Ethiopia.Because you now know my background, it makes it simpler for me to clarify why I believe the Ethiopian telecom is presently a prisoner of the 2 Chinese language telecom tools giants Huawei and ZTE. This may increasingly appear to be a daft declare for the common particular person however in case you look nearer and examine the extent of helplessness and dependency the telecom has on these two firms, then you’ll clearly perceive why the telecom might not even be capable to function with out them.What could be very unlucky right here is that ethio telecom continues to acquire merchandise from Huawei and ZTE even at present, whereas among the options that ethio telecom already bought from them have been discovered to not adhere to worldwide expertise requirements. This implies, an answer from Huawei for instance doesn’t interoperate with an answer from an organization based mostly in Silicon Valley or Europe. Lately the dearth of safety and belief on telecom infrastructure obtained from Chinese language firms resembling Huawei and ZTE has dominated the information cycles. It is because lots of nations together with the usand the U.Okay have realized the dependency of their nationwide safety on telecommunication infrastructures and the risk posed by being depending on Chinese language authorities managed expertise firms. The extent of obscurity and lack of transparency of the merchandise by these firms has been uncovered a number of instances. One very clear and blatant challenge for instance is the dearth of documentation in English for ZTE’s merchandise. Since all of the manuals and directions are in Chinese language, a rustic like Ethiopia has to depend on Chinese language talking specialists to deploy and handle their community. This principally means one has to blindly belief ZTE with their whole infrastructure. One of many major causes that these chinese language firms maintain getting new contracts from ethio telecom is as a result of they’re nicely entrenched within the ethio telecom procurement course of. It’s clear to see that the Request For Proposals (RFPs) issued as worldwide aggressive bids by ethio telecom for community, datacenter and associated options lots of instances ask for particular necessities that may solely be met by Huawei or ZTE. More often than not there isn’t any motive for these necessities aside from to assist considered one of these Chinese language firms win the RFP. The truth is lots of instances these necessities stop ethio telecom from buying the most effective resolution within the market. The bias in the direction of these firms could be very apparent within the analysis course of too, to the purpose the place it generally will get complicated to determine whether or not some people which might be a part of the analysis course of have the curiosity of ethio telecom or Huawei/ZTE. The archaic procurement course of ethio telecom follows; to this date is partly accountable for this disaster the corporate is going through. Total the method will not be geared in the direction of enabling ethio telecom procure the most effective options at the most effective costs. As a substitute the main target is on going by means of a tedious and time consuming strategy of analyzing ineffective particulars. This course of makes it simple to decide on a vendor with out deserves of the standard of the answer or worth. These sorts of underlying issues are on the basis of the system that’s permitting these firms to promote outdated  expertise and merchandise to ethio telecom that different firms within the developed world aren’t prepared to purchase.How did the telecom get right here?Vendor Financing. Again in 2012 and 2013 Huawei and ZTE secured a 1.6 Billion take care of the telecom dangling to their credit score a totally backed vendor financing and in addition a concession priced tools to construct an LTE community within the capital, Addis Ababa, and assist deploy 3G service all through the remainder of the nation. Vendor financing gained one thing of a foul identify after extreme use of the measure by some distributors brought about important monetary issues previously. However the Ethiopia deal signifies that the coverage of financing next-generation tools for operators continues to be stay and kicking.Huawei and ZTE have relied on backing from state-linked banks to supply financing to their massive prospects in recent times, giving them a bonus on some contract negotiations.Since then, the telecom has quickly elevated its relationship and buy of apparatus from these two giants the place it has now turn into absolutely depending on these two producers for its tools wants. One of many byproducts of vendor financing is that ethio telecom has been paying much less and fewer consideration to researching and understanding the newest applied sciences. A whole lot of instances ethio telecom’s technical groups focus solely on the 2 distributors’ merchandise. The industrial analysis groups additionally don’t do the right due diligence in the case of pricing, rate of interest, and return of funding comparisons. Too many instances these have resulted in ethio telecom procuring outdated, costly and insecure options. Ethio telecom additionally finally ends up paying high-interest charges, and generally even shopping for refurbished merchandise labeled as new. Not solely ethio telecom turn into an accumulator of outdated merchandise however additionally it is creating engineers who’re semi-skilled on Huawei and ZTE merchandise which aren’t in use anyplace else on this planet. These in flip made the nation much less enticing for distant help jobs which main worldwide telecom {hardware} distributors outsource to nations with an affordable expert labor useful resource resembling India, Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya ….. My level could be very straight ahead. Ethiopian Airways turned what it’s at present attributable to a persistent and constant effort by plenty of people who toiled and labored onerous to amass and grasp the applied sciences and administration knowhow all through the years. The Airline didn’t get clumsy and provides all of its core operations to the People or the Europeans. Ethiopians made certain that they learnt and made the airline Ethiopian.What I see the telecom doing is the alternative. Except we take a long run look and repair this challenge of blind dependency on opaque distributors; we’d as nicely promote the telecom to those distributors and simply have them function it for us. In any other case, I say to all, it’s time to take a deep breath and chart a long-term technique that establishes the telecom’s independence from any and all distributors as a lot as potential. Be a part of the dialog. Like borkena on Fb and get Ethiopian Information updates usually. As nicely, chances are you’ll get Ethiopia Information by following us on twitter @zborkenaThe publish The Chinese language chokehold on Ethio-Telecom appeared first on Borkena Ethiopian Information.


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