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Safaricom gains early traction in Ethiopia with strategic fibre optic deal

By , ITWeb’s Zambian correspondent.
Ethiopia , 15 Mar 2022

The newest arrival in Ethiopia’s telecommunications industry, Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia, has signed a five-year lease agreement with state-owned power utility company Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) to share fibre optic infrastructure.

Under the deal, Safaricom will use an existing network of fibre optic ground wire cables along high voltage transmission lines owned by EEP.

The utility currently owns over 15 000km of fibre optic lines.

According to EEP, the first phase of the agreement allows Safaricom to share 4, 097 km of the fibre optic lines, while the second phase will avail 2, 078 km and the third 2, 904 km.

The power utility firm said it expects to secure up to 140 million ETB (Ethiopia Telebirr) a year in the first phase of the infrastructure lease agreement.

The shared infrastructure will be used as part of Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia’s network to provide telecommunication services in the country in form of voice, data, video and text massages, among others.

The agreement was signed by the CEO of EEP Ashebir Balcha and CEO of Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia Anwar Soussa.

“We are grateful for the spirit of cooperation from EEP on the win-win partnership to support out contributions to the digital transformation of Ethiopia. Such infrastructure sharing agreement will enable us to fulfil our commitment to transform Ethiopian lives for a digital future and contribute to efforts being made to the phased operation launch,” said Soussa.

Balcha added that the agreement lays the foundation for the two companies to work together. “The agreement we signed to share our optical ground wire cables infrastructure will enable EEP to utilise its resources and increase its revenue while enabling Safaricom Ethiopia to provide quality and competitive telecommunication services.”

Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia confirmed that it has finalised arrangements to launch commercial operations to provide telecommunications services in Ethiopia by May this year. 

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