The Ethiopian Communications Authority (ECA) said it has issued a telecoms licence to the Global Partnership for Ethiopia (GPE), which has been incorporated as Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia.
Ethiopia’s award of a new telecoms licence paves the way to open the market to international investors for the first time.
GPE, a consortium comprising Safaricom, Vodacom, Vodafone, Sumitomo Corporation, and CDC Group, has been designated as a provisional licensee for the nationwide full-service Telecommunications license last month.
The new license is effective from 9 July 2021 and is valid for a term of fifteen years from the Effective Date, and renewable for additional terms.
“Under Articles 40 and 41 of the Tender Regulations, the Designated Licensee (Global Partnership for Ethiopia) shall incorporate a local company within forty-five 45 calendar,” ECA said.
With the licence nod, the Safaricom-led consortium can now provide any telecommunications service including voice, text, data, and video using any technology whether fixed or wireless anywhere within Ethiopia.
According to local media reports, the Safaricom-led consortium is set to create up to 1.5 million new jobs and bring $8.5 billion in investment over 10 years.
It will provide 4G and 5G internet services, and by 2023 a low-orbit satellite will be put in place to provide nationwide 4G coverage.