ethio telecom’s alleged poor network quality is reported to have slowed the dissemination and maintenance of cash register machines since March 3, 2013, according to the tax information administration directorate of Ethiopian Revenues and Customs Authority (ERCA).
The state monopoly telecom service provider, provides the GPRS service- that creates a wireless connection between a cash register and ERCA’s server. This enables the machines to send transaction reports to the revenue authority.
“Technicians from ethio telecom were here a couple of times, but never said what the problem is,” says Tewodros G.Mariam, technology coordinator at ERCA’.
Network experts at the telecom attribute the problem to the augmenting demand for telecom services and the insufficient telecom facility in the country.
No matter what caused the problem, private businesses are feeling the pinch. The authority is also losing the much needed tax payments. “If the cash register machine is out of service businesses use hand written receipts, if they use any at all, which is far less reliable and open to mischief,” says Tewodros Tefera, tax information administration director with ERCA. “Thus, sales suppression is likely to happen in this kind of situations,” he says.
New machines that were supposed to be in operation by their owners have been in the hands of their importers for more than 40 days in some casesdue to the same reason.
Network slow down has also been causing huge congestion at banks, particularly at the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia. Over 250 people were lined waiting to get services around 10am at the Teklehaimanot branch of the bank.