Ethiopian Communications Authority Deny Shortlisting Telcos for Mobile Licenses

The Ethiopian Communications Authority has denied claims that it has shortlisted any telecommunication company for the two highly coveted mobile operator licenses in Ethiopia.

The Communications Authority in a tweet said, “We wish to clarify that to date no proposals have been received for the 2 new telecom licenses, and no prospective bidder has been shortlisted, pre-qualified nor excluded from participating in the bid process. The RFP process is ongoing”.

A report by one media company wrongly stated that Safaricom had been shortlisted along with five other telecommunications companies to bid for the Ethiopian telecom licenses. News of the shortlist sent the mobile operator’s stock soaring to an all-time high price of KSh39.25. The Ethiopian Communications authority clarified that no bidders have been prequalified or excluded from the competitive bidding process.

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Ethiopia is in the process of liberalizing its telecommunications sector as it seeks to increase connectivity in the mobile service industry. On November 27, 2020, the country issued a ‘Request For Proposal’ inviting international mobile phone operators to bid for two nationwide full‐service telecommunications licenses. According to the authority, the bid submission date is on April 5, 2021.

By opening up the telecommunication industry, Ethiopia hopes to attract global firms, boost small and medium-sized businesses by giving access to digital platforms, and create jobs for the many jobless youths in the country.

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