Safaricom is negotiating an infrastructure sharing agreement with state-owned incumbent Ethio Telecom, as the newcomer is unable to lay down enough networks for its commercial launch in Ethiopia this year.
Safaricom Ethiopia managing director Anwar Soussa said both operators are currently working with regulator the Ethiopian Communication Authority (ECA) to iron out details of the partnership, reported Ecofin Agency.
“Ethio Telecom and ourselves are both committed to the digital transformation program. We are currently working together to establish a win-win partnership to achieve this. We are currently in the process of negotiating national roaming and infrastructure sharing in accordance with the telecommunications proclamation and regulatory framework under the ECA,” said Soussa.
Safaricom is preparing to launch commercial services in Ethiopia this May, after acquiring a global licence last year when the government voted to liberalise its formerly closed off telecoms market.
But in that short time frame, Safaricom was unable to muster the financial capital to deploy enough networks for its launch. The company previously pledged to inject US$8 billion into its networks over the next ten years.