Ethiopia to issue new telephone operator license by January

APA-Addis Ababa (Ethiopia)

The Ethiopian Communications Authority (ECA) Tuesday announced a deadline to issue the second new mobile network operator license by January 2022.

The announcement came when it published a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a second license, inviting both international and national telecommunications companies to take part in the sealed bidding process.

“Marking the next phase of the widely heralded liberalization of Ethiopia’s telecoms market, the second license (License B) is due to be issued in January 2022,” said the Authority.

The tender will help the country introduce a third telecoms operator that will compete with Ethio Telecom and Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia Plc.

The East African nation issued the first license (License A) to the Global Partnership for Ethiopia in June 2021.

Since then, the partnership has set up a headquarters in Addis Ababa for its company registered as Safaricom Telecom Ethiopia Plc, and is preparing to launch its services to the Ethiopian people next year.

According to ECA, the second license will include Mobile Financial Services an additional spectrum allocation and will have revised pre-qualification criteria to include participation from a wide range of international and national telecommunications operators.

“The goal of liberalizing our telecoms sector has always been to drive competition and attract greater private sector investment as a key part of Ethiopia’s digital transformation,” said Eng. Balcha Reba, Director General of the regulatory agency.

“Following our successful first license issuance earlier this year to one of the world’s largest international telecoms consortia, we have continued with our mission and now want to encourage more telecom operators, of all sizes, to be part of this exciting opportunity, ” he added.

Balcha also said the Authority remains committed to fulfilling Ethiopia’s telecommunications sector reform “and this second license issuance is another opportunity for another telecoms operator to join Ethiopia’s fast growing economy next year.”



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