Chinese Telecom Firm Enters Race for Operating License

ADDIS ABABA – Sharing Mobile Group, a Chinese telecom operator, is joining the bid for the telecom license in Ethiopia as the East African country envisaged liberalizing the telecom sector, Xinhua news agency has reported on Monday.

Last year, at least 12 major telecom operators have shown interest in two licences that the Ethiopian Communications Authority (ECA), telecoms regulatory body, plans to award to multinational mobile companies, breaking the state monopoly.

Not a single Chinese firm has registered an interest during that round. On Monday, Chinese state-run media Xinhua reported “Sharing Mobile has joined the bidding process”.

The firm will face stiff competition from South African telecom operator MTN Group, French telecom operator Orang, British telecom operator Vodafone and many more.

Sharing Mobile has been actively exploring the overseas markets, reports Xinhua, which claims the company already acquired 80 percent of GiCell, a Nigerian telecom operator.

The company is expected to submit its proposal, according to ECA’s latest Request for Proposals (RFP) schedule, on April 5, 2021.

The ECA has launched the RFPs for the award of these licenses end of November, targeting world-class telecommunications operators to become the new license holders within Ethiopia’s rapidly growing economy.