The Ethiopian Communications Authority opened its tender to award two nationwide full-service telecommunications licenses through auction, opening the door for international companies to bid in 2021.
In a statement, the watchdog said bidders have until March 5 2021 to submit their final pitches to take part in its competitive bidding process. Interested parties also have until 10 December to request terms and conditions.
The authority said it aims to attract “world-class telecommunications operators” to bag the up for grabs licenses to support “Ethiopia’s rapidly growing economy”.
The announcement comes as part of plans to open the formerly closed-off telecommunications market to foreign investors, in a bid to spur the development of the sector and boost the economy. For winning bidders, is one of the last remaining untapped markets in the world, with a population of over 100 million to connect.
Interested parties to have submitted an interest to enter the Ethiopian market including Vodacom, Orange, STC, MTN Group, and Telkom SA amongst 12 confirmed.
The Ethiopian Communications Authority rebuffed concerns surrounding the auction being delayed due to the ongoing armed conflict in the north of the country.