Ethiopia to issue second private telecom license bid in June: Official

Ethiopia is to issue a second private telecom license bid next month June, an Ethiopian official disclosed on Sunday.

Balcha Reba, Director General of the Ethiopia Communications Authority (ECA), the state telecommunications regulatory body, said the authority has finished activities to provide telecom license to a third telecom firm, reported state media outlet Ethiopia News Agency (ENA).

Currently, two telecommunications firms, the state owned Ethio-Telecom and a foreign firm, Safaricom Ethiopia operate in Africa’s second most populous nation.

Reba said the eventual entry of a third telecom firm in the Ethiopian market is expected to boost the digitization efforts of the country’s telecommunications infrastructure.

The ECA chief also said Ethiopia has already amended the country’s investment laws to attract investment from prominent telecommunications firms.

Ethiopia awarded its first private telecom license in May 2021 to the Safaricom-led consortium for a license fee of 850 million U.S. dollars.

Earlier this month, Safaricom Ethiopia secured a license to launch mobile money services. The firm paid 150 million U.S. dollars to secure the mobile money services license.

 Ethio-Telecom already operates its own mobile money services solution, Telebirr which was launched in May 2021.

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