Consortium led by Safaricom wins Ethiopian operating license

Consortium led by Safaricom wins Ethiopian operating license
Ethiopian Communications Authority logo is seen on a billboard during a bid opening ceremony in Addis Ababa. (Reuters)
Short Url
Updated 22 May 2021

Consortium led by Safaricom wins Ethiopian operating license

Consortium led by Safaricom wins Ethiopian operating license
  • Consortium includes Kenya's Safaricom, Japan's Sumitomo, Vodacom, Vodafone, and a British development finance agency

ADDIS ABABA: Ethiopia’s telecommunications regulator awarded one operating license to a consortium led by Kenya’s Safaricom and Japan’s Sumitomo, Brook Taye, a senior adviser at the finance ministry, said on Saturday.
The consortium, which includes Vodacom, Vodafone , and British development finance agency CDC Group, paid $850 million for the license, Brook said. South Africa’s MTN had also bid for a license.
Africa’s second-most populous country is hoping that the opening of one of the world’s last major closed telecoms markets will create millions of online job opportunities.
As as as the license fee, the consortium plans to invest up to $8.5 billion in infrastructure among other areas, Brook said, adding that it was expected to create between 1 and 1.5 million jobs.
The operator will begin with 4G services, Brook said.
“We will soon open a bid for the remaining license,” said Balcha Reba, director general of the Ethiopian Communications Authority.
Balcha said MTN’s offer of $600 million was deemed too low.