Ethiopia moves closer to liberalisation of telecoms market, as regulator enters consultation phase

Published: 28 April 2020 - 12:26 p.m.

Ethiopia’s telecoms regulator, The Ethiopian Communications Authority, has said that it will enter into a consultation period with would be licencees, as it looks to finalise the rules that will eventually govern the liberalisation of the country’s telecoms sector.

The Ethiopian government is set to issue two new licences for mobile network operators in the country, while simultaneously selling off an as yet unspecified stake in state run telco, Ethio Telecom.

The consultative phase will last for 14 days and will conclude on the 11th May, according to a report by international news agency, Bloomberg.

The opening up of Ethiopia’s telecoms market is an enticing prospect for telcos around the world looking to secure a foothold in Africa’s second most populous nation, and the wider region of East Africa. Vodacom Group, MTN Group Ltd, Orange SA and Helios Towers have all expressed an interest in acquiring a licence in the country.

The Ethiopian government has confirmed that the licences issued to international telcos will be valid for a 15 year term.

The process for issuing licences is expected to be completed in the coming months, however the global Covid 19 pandemic has delayed the process.

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