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Ethiopia selling another Telecom operator license 

Ethiopia Telecom operator license
Balcha Bare, Director of Ethiopian Telecommunication Authority (Photo : public domain)

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Ethiopia’s Telecommunication Authority on Thursday announced that there is a plan to issue a third telecom license in the 2016 Ethiopian fiscal year (2023/2024 GC).

Balcha Bare, Director of Ethiopian Telecommunication Authority, said consultation is underway with relevant stakeholders to decide conditions under which the third telecom service provider will operate, FBC reported. 

However, the authority said it has produced a document that specified the qualifications of bidders that will be invited to the process.  Companies interested in investing in the Ethiopian Telecom sector are invited to get a copy of the document until September 15, 2023. 

In 2013 (Ethiopian Calendar, Safaricom and MTN group were selected in a bidding process however MTN bidding offer was much lower than what Safaricom offered – the reason why the license was issued only to Safaricom , according to a report by Fana Broadcasting, state media. The second license was not issued. 

Based on the report from state media, the authority seems to see opening up the erstwhile protected Telecom sector for privatization (to international service providers) as part of Ethiopia’s “homegrown economy”   reform. 

In what seems to be in line with the liberal market creeds, Ethiopia’s Telecommunication Authority director thinks that opening up the telecom sector for privatization will have a significant contribution to service quality, fair pricing, and accessibility. 

The regulatory framework will be practiced in a way not to compromise Ethiopia’s national security, it was said.  

In less than two years, Safaricom is said to have over 2,8 million subscribers across Ethiopia. 

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