ADDIS ABEBA – Government says it expects more companies to bid as its telecom sector regulator plans to float tender for two telecom licenses within fortnights.
Ethiopian Telecommunication Authority says it has finalized preparation to float an international bid to find potential buyers for two licenses.
The licenses will end a state monopoly in the country of more than 100 million and open up one of the world’s last major closed telecoms markets.
The authority has said at least 12 international telecom companies officially expressed their interest to operate in the East African nation.
These include a consortium of three telecom operators (involving Vodafone, Vodacom, Safaricom), Etisalt, Axian, MTN, Orange, Saudi Telecom Company, Telecom SA, liquid telecom, Snail Mobil, Kandu Global Telecommunication, Electromecha International projects and Group of Associate Djiboutian Investors (GADI).
Director of the authority, Balcha Reba, has said more companies are expected to join them in the international tender to be floated within fortnight.
The government is carefully preparing ways to bring in internationally competitive companies, he told a press conference on the authority’s three month performance report.
Tendering Companies will be selected based on technical, financial and their international experience, the director added.
In order to manage and monitor the communication sector including the upcoming two additional companies the authority has formulated at least 18 regulatory directives.
They will soon be approved by the council of ministers, Balcha said.
According to the director, the government expects companies that secure the license will begin to operate in Ethiopia between March and April.
By Sisay Sahlu