The Ethiopian government says it will postpone the awarding of two telecommunications licences to operators interested in entering the country’s market.
The Ethiopian government has delayed issuing two telecommunications licences.
Ethiopia’s State Minister within the Ministry of Finance Eyob Tekalign Tolina told Reuters that the process is likely to only take place after March 2020 because the timeline is “probably too aggressive” for most operators that want to bid.
MTN Group, Etisalat, Orange SA, Safaricom and Econet Global are reported to be among the contenders.
Tolina is quoted as saying, “They (operators) have asked the government to allow them enough time to prepare and compete.”
The revised scheduled is expected to be announced in the next two weeks.
Tolina also said the government
The government has yet to publish guidelines regarding the bidding process.
Commenting on the delay, Andrew Makanya, a telecom analyst at Computer Association of Zambia said Ethiopian authorities should take their time in order to carefully scrutinise bidders and avoid the danger of rewarding licences to operators who would then face financial challenges – as the case is in Zambia.
“It’s a good thing that a number of international operators are bidding to enter the Ethiopian telecom market but authorities there have to be very careful in giving out the licences. Uzi Zambia presented the best bids, was satisfactory and awarded a fourth licence but since 2018, it is failing to launch operations due to financial challenges,” said Makanya.