Ethiopia'sEthio Telecom signed an $800 million deal with China's ZTE on Sunday (August 18) to expand mobile phone infrastructure and introduce a high-speed 4G broadband network in Addis Ababa and a 3G service throughout the rest of the country. The agreement with ZTE is half of the $1.6 billion project; the agreement with Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, the world's second largest telecom equipment maker, was signed last month. Both firms will provide low interest loans to implement the projects. Ato Andualem Admassie, acting chief executive officer of Ethio Telecom, said the agreement would enable Ethiopia to double subscribers to more than 50 million. This, he said, was vital to attain Ethio Telecom's objective to increase access and coverage across the country as well as upgrade existing network to new technology. Ethio Telecom is the only mobile operator in the country, but the government has given approval for private companies to provide value-added services. According to Reuters, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology has received applications from more than 200 firms to provide such services; and South Africa'sMTN Group, Africa's largest mobile phone company, has already been granted a licence.