12 firms bid to enter Ethiopia’s telecoms market

Published: 28 June 2020 - 7:02 a.m.

Ethiopia’s telecoms regulatory body has confirmed that it has received expressions of interest (EOIs) from 12 companies, including nine international telcos, for the country’s two telecommunication licenses.

The Ethiopian Communication Authority noted that it had received EOIs from some of the world’s biggest telcos, including Global Partnership for Ethiopia (a consortium of telecom operators made of Vodafone, Vodacom, and Safaricom), Etisalat, Axian, MTN, Orange, Saudi Telecom Company, Telkom SA, Liquid Telecom, Snail Mobile, and the two non-telecom operators, Kandu Global Telecommunications and Electromecha International Projects.

The Ethiopian government is set to auction off two 15 year licences to prospective mobile network operators to provide services across the country. The licences are expected to raise over $1 billion in revenues for the government.

“The prospective bidders were given one month to express their interest by submitting the requested information. In the Expression of Interest, the prospective bidders were requested to provide information on their organisational structure, global operating footprint, details of countries of operation, number of mobile phone subscribers, and other relevant information that can help the authorities assess the strength of potential bidders and determine the adequate level of qualification criteria to select the type of operators that would fit best into the Ethiopian market,” an Ethiopian Communications Authority spokesman told members of the press in an online

In addition to the two distinct licenses, the Ethiopian government will also sell off a 40 per cent stake in state owned Ethio Telecom to private, international investors, as the country begins opening up its telecoms market.

The government will also make 5 per cent of shares in the company available for purchase by the general public Ethiopia’s State Minister of Finance, Eyob Tekalign Tolina, told journalists from the Reuters news agency.

The Ethiopian government will retain ownership of the remaining 60 per cent of Ethio Telecom.

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