Ethiopia receives 12 bids for telecom licences

29 Jun 2020

The Ethiopian Communications Authority (ECA) has received twelve bids for two telecom licences following the announcement of plans to liberalise the economy and allow foreign and private investors into key state-owned companies.

Of the twelve submissions, nine are telecom operators and two are non-telecom operators and one was incomplete. Among those interested are the Global Partnership for Ethiopia (a consortium of telecom operators made up of Vodafone, Vodacom, and Safaricom), Etisalat, Axian, South African company MTN, Orange from France, Saudi Telecom Company, Telkom SA, Liquid Telecom, Snail Mobile, and the two non-telecom operators, Kandu Global Telecoms and Electromecha International Projects.

Ethiopia’s telecoms industry is considered a big prize given the country’s population of 110 million people and potential for data services and mobile-money growth.

…Ethiopia among Helios Towers $450 million Africa expansion

Helios Towers Ltd., a market-leading telecom tower infrastructure company, plans to use about $450 million in newly raised funds to expand into African countries including Ethiopia, Bloomberg reports.

Ethiopia, which is currently in the process of opening its telecom industry to private investors, will need as many as 10,000 new towers over the next five years to support the expansion, Helios Chief Financial Officer Tom Greenwood said.

“Ethiopia is a very big opportunity, and after a few months of being quiet its government has requested new indications of interest from telecom operators,” the CFO said. “With that now back on the table, we are seeking a financing partner and working with mobile operators to be in a strong position to enter the market.”

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