Ethio-telecom, the sole state-run telecommunication service provider, has been launching its 4G LTE Advanced Network service across various regions of the country over the last couple of months. Up until June 15, 2021, 53 cities including Addis Ababa got 4G LTE advanced network access. The service was first launched in Addis Ababa a year and a half ago while Oromia Regional State became the first outside of the capital city to receive coverage. Most of the regions in the country, except for Tigray, have now got access.  

4G network stands for the fourth-generation network while LTE refers to Long-Term Evolution (LTE). The new service launched by Ethio-telecom, 4G LTE Advanced (also known as LTE-A), is an advanced combination of the two, which is faster than standard 4G. Another way of comparing it is to think of it being a half step between 4G and 5G. 

4G LTE Advanced Network does everything 3G and 4G can do but is much faster. It handles high-definition mobile TV, videoconferencing, and other data-intensive applications. If you watch YouTube videos, stream Spotify, and rely on an extensive array of internet-connected applications daily, 4G is a must. 3G is mostly used with mobile phones as a means of connecting to the Internet. Most applications for routine internet activities such as GPS, weather, email, and social networking work fine on a 3G connection. 

However, following the launch of the service, there have been complaints from users claiming the service is not properly working in some regional cities and is not much better than the previous 3G service. HaqCheck has analyzed the issue.

HaqCheck spoke with Gadise Kumela, a supervisor at Ethio telecom, and said that she had heard different complaints from many customers who claim they are not able to use the 4G LTE-Advanced network. 

She emphasized that users need to switch their SIM cards from 3G to 4G. She also explained that users need to change their phone devices to support the 4G LTE-Advanced network. 

Frehiwot Tamiru, CEO of Ethio telecom, also made the same point in her presentation at the southeastern region 4G LTE-Advanced network launching the program on February 18, 2021.

Ethio telecom explains on its website that users can change their 3G SIM card to a 4G one for free.

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