Locked Out: Ethio Telecom, Safaricom Sell Locked Phones with Inconsistent Disclosure

Ethiopia’s two telecom operators, Ethio Telecom and Safaricom Ethiopia, are selling locked smartphones that prevent users from using the other company’s SIM cards.

The locked smartphones that are tied to a specific carrier are also being sold with inconsistent disclosures to buyers.

When Shega visited Safaricom Ethiopia and Ethio Telecom sales shops in Bole, Addis Ababa, the sales agents failed to mention that the phones were locked. This information was only revealed after Shega inquired about the phone’s compatibility.

At the Safaricom Shop Shega went to, the new telecom operator sold two phones called Kimem Kerefa and Kimem Nana that were partially locked. These dual SIM phones...

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