Ethiopia receives 12 bids for two telco licenses

Ethiopia’s communications regulator announced that it has received twelve bids for the two telecom licenses it intends to grant to multinational mobile companies, breaking the state monopoly.

Th regulator stated that nine bidders are telecom operators and two non-telecom operators, and one submission was incomplete.

Bidders consist of Etisalat, Axian, MTN, Orange, Saudi Telecom Company, Telkom SA, Liquid Telecom, Snail Mobile and Global Partnership for Ethiopia, a group of telecom operators made of Vodafone, Vodacom, and Safaricom. The two non-telecom operators are Kandu Global Telecommunications and Electromecha International Projects.

The delivering of licenses will bring into one of the world’s last major closed telecoms markets in the country of around 110 million.

The Ethiopian Communications Authority stated the licenses will be allocated through a “competitive bidding process,” but did not clarify a deadline for it.

The Director General of the Ethiopian Communication Authority, Balch Reba, said, “This is the initial stage. We will soon have…the second stage.”