ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia has again postponed the deadline for bid submission for two telecoms licences, granting interested multinational telecom operators an extra 20 days to complete their offers.
Telecom sector regulator, Ethiopian Communications Authority (ECA), said it took the latest decision in response to requests from interested bidders.
“Due to requests by bidders to have more time to finalize their offer in light of Covid market environment, ECA determined their question to be appropriate and the deadline for submission of bids for the 2 new Telecom Operator Licenses is extended to April 26th, 2021, 10am EAT,” the regulator said in a statement issued on Monday.
In February, the ECA extended the deadline for bids to 5th April 2021 due to a similar plea from the bidders.
Ethiopia is in the process of liberalising its market to boost innovation and development, and as part of this the government will award two full nationwide licences through a competitive tender.
The licences will end a state monopoly in the country of around 100 million and open up one of the world’s last major closed telecoms markets.
South African operator MTN, Etisalat of the United Arab Emirates and Western telecoms companies like Vodafone and France’s Orange are likely to be among the leading bidders.