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Ethiopia to commence bidding process for telecom operators

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The Ethiopian Communication Authority (ECA), on Monday, 28 September 2020, announced a decision to issue licences to two telecom operators in the near future.

As part of its home-grown economic reform agenda launched in 2019, Ethiopia, in June 2019, made an official invitation to foreign telecom companies to buy a 40 percent stake in Ethio Telecom, a move that would end a long monopoly in the sector.

As well as service providers, the privatisation of Ethio Telecom has attracted a number of telecom infrastructure companies, such as Helios Towers, a UK-based telecom infrastructure developer.

“Bidding documents review for the two licences are nearing completion,” Engineer Balcha Reba, ECA’s Director-General said at a recent meeting. The bidding process will start next month and remain open for between 40 and 50 days.

Special attention was given for communication service improvement and national security, he added.

Awarding licences for new operators would have a significant benefit to provide efficient services for Ethiopians and ICT companies, it was indicated.

As part of the telecom sector reform activities, the Ethiopian Government decided to sell 40 percent of its stake in Ethio Telecom to foreign companies. A five percent stake will be sold to Ethiopian nationals.



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