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Ethiopia to Welcome a Third Telecom Operator

ECA LogoEthiopia is set to issue an international tender in June to license a third telecom operator. The Ethiopian Communication Authority’s (ECA) Director-General, Balcha Reba, confirmed that the Authority was finalizing preparations to award the license. Balcha noted that promotional activities had been carried out to attract companies to explore opportunities in Ethiopia, and the introduction of various incentives and the revision of investment laws had increased investor interest.

The license for the third telecom operator in Ethiopia will be awarded through a competitive tender process which will follow the same approach used during the licensing of Safaricom Ethiopia. The addition of a third operator is expected to accelerate the ongoing digitalization efforts in the country and improve the quality of telecom services.

Companies such as Etisalat, Hatem Dowidar, Emirates Telecommunications Group and Orange Middle East and Africa have already shown interest to enter the Ethiopian telecom market.

In 2022, the Unified Telecommunications Operator License was awarded to a private consortium operating under the name Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia. The consortium, which includes Vodafone, Vodacom, Safaricom, Sumitomo Corporation, and the CDC Group, won the bid offering USD 850 million, two million dollars more than the second-highest bidder. When Safaricom was selected, it was expected that the move would create jobs for 1.5 million citizens and activate over USD 8 billion in domestic investment.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency

Additional source: Anadolu Ajansi