ADDIS ABABA – Safaricom has signed its second infrastructure lease agreement with a state-owned Ethiopian Electric Utility (EEU), that allows the telecom company to use EEP’s electric poles for aerial-fiber installation.
The agreement came ten days after Safaricom entered into a similar deal with another state-firm, Ethiopian Electric Power, to share its dark fiber-optic lines.
Shiferaw Telila, CEO of EEU, and Anwar Soussa, CEO of Safaricom Ethiopia, signed the three-year agreement on Monday.
Safaricom will pay 988.7 birr per pole annually when the deal becomes effective, as per EEP.
The revenue generated from this agreement would be used to rehabilitate parts of EEP’s old electric poles, the state-owned utility firm said.
The infrastructure share agreement will also give Safaricom Ethiopia more options to provide its services in forms of voice, data, video, text, messages, and conferencing.
The company signed the deal to enable aerial fiber installation through EEU’s existing poles infrastructure in Addis Abeba and across the country, its officials said.
Aerial cabling is easier to repair and deploy across the country, according to Safaricom.
“Through this win-win partnership, we are empowered with the right tools to continue building the network backed by solid infrastructure & support from the public sector,” said Anwar, CEO Safaricom Ethiopia, after signing the deal.
When it starts commercial operations to provide telecom service to Ethiopians, Safaricom will become the first private and foreign entity to offer these services in the country.