The Ethiopian Communications Authority has received twelve bids for two telecom licences, media reports said. The telecommunication authority is planning to award the two licences to multinational mobile companies to end the monopoly in the country.
Ethio Telecom has had a strong monopoly in the country for a century. That said, Safaricom has been keen to foray into the Ethiopian market. Last week, the country’s communication regulator announced that 12 companies have registered bids for a licence.
Earlier this year, the company was seeking to partners with its peers for its potential bid. It is reported that Vodafone and Vodacom will join Safaricom to bid together under a consortium titled the Global Partnership for Ethiopia.
Other bidders for the licence include Etisalat, Axian, MTN, Orange, Saudi Telecom Company, Telkom SA, Liquid Telecom, Snail Mobile and Global Partnership for Ethiopia. Also, non-telecom operators are Kandu Global Telecommunications and Electromecha International Projects.
It seems that the licences will be awarded through a competitive bidding process. Balch Reba, director-general of the Ethiopian Communication Authority, told the media, “This is the initial stage. We will soon have…the second stage.”
Safaricom plans to join forces with Vodacom to bid for one of the licences, media reports said. The International Finance Corporation will oversee the bids for the winners and is appointed by the Ethiopian government.