Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia expected to invest US$8bn over next decade
Safaricom says it is negotiating an infrastructure sharing deal with Ethiopia’s telecommunications services provider Ethio Telecom and regulator the Ethiopian Communications Authority (ECA), as it prepares to officially enter the market in April 2022, along with the intention to invest US$8-billion in infrastructure and services over the next ten years.
Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia, represented as a consortium, is poised to enter the Ethiopian market as an official second telecommunications operator.
CEO Anwar Soussa said the company was working with both Ethio Telecom and the ECA to finanlise details of the sharing agreement.
Soussa said, “Ethio Telecom and ourselves have a commitment to digital transformation agenda. We are currently working together to establish a win-win partnership. We are negotiating on national roaming and infrastructure sharing in line with the telecom proclamation and regulation framework overseen by the ECA.”
It is understood that the parties still need to agree on several key issues including tariffs, the load-bearing capacity of the towers, the actual space within sites, tilt and height of the antennas, as well as the impact of shared infrastructure on quality of service and the different standards employed by the equipment provider.
Safaricom added that it will also build its own infrastructure including 700 towers.
Last month, the company said it had spent US$100-million on a pre-fabricated datacentre in Ethiopia. The facility was constructed in China by Huawei Technologies and Nokia and delivered to the East African country for Safaricom use. Plans are in place to construct a further two datacentres.
Safaricom acquired a licence in May 2021 as part of the Ethiopia’s ongoing effort to open up its telecommunications industry to competition.