Ethiopia scouts for third telecoms operator
The Ethiopian Communications Authority (ECA) has begun the process to identify and licence the country’s third telecommunications service operator.
According to the regulator the process is part of the government’s plan to liberalise the country's telecommunications market through the introduction of competition and private sector participation.
ECA Director General Balcha Reba said: “This is a continuation of the first successful transaction that ensured the entry of a private sector operator in the telecommunication sector in Ethiopia, which shows the government and ECA’s firm commitment to introduce competition and create a high level playing field in the sector.”
Ethiopia’s first-ever telecommunications operating licence to the private sector (operator) was issued in May 2021 to the Global Partnership for Ethiopia, a private consortium consisting of Safaricom Kenya, Vodafone Group, Vodacom, the UK’s CDC Group and Sumitomo Corporation of Japan now operating under the name Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia.
The consortium plans to invest about US$8.5-billion over ten years.
Following the successful issuance of the first licence to the consortium, the ECA announced it would issue a second full-service private operator licence.
The ECA said the second licence will include mobile financial services and additional spectrum allocation and will feature revised pre-qualification criteria to include participation from local and global telecommunications operators.
The country is also busy with the partial privatisation of Ethio Telecom.