Kenya’s largest telco, Safaricom, has filed a fresh bid for a license to operate in Ethiopia. The company will battle 11 other telco companies according to the country’s Communications Authority (ECA) who confirmed receiving a total of 12 bids as of Friday last week.
The telco has partnered with two of its parent companies – Vodafone and Vodacom – just as they had announced during the release of the 2019/2020 FY financial results.
Besides entering the market as a telco player, Safaricom also wants a share in State-owned Ethio Telecom, which is set to be privatised.
Apart from Safaricom, other telcos that have submitted bids for the two licenses include Etisalat, Axian, MTN, Orange, Saudi Telecom Company, Telkom (South Africa), Liquid Telecom and Snail Mobile.
Ethiopia announced plans to open up its telco space in April and was ready to add two more players in the market.
The move aims at liberalization of the country’s telco space which has long been controlled by the government.
The winning companies will be able to have full access to the market. They will be able to “build, own and operate a nationwide telecommunications network, including an international gateway,” reports Quartz Africa.
Currently, the market is controlled by Ethio telecom, a government-owned telco, which boasts 44 million subscribers.