More Africa NewsEthiopia: Safaricom to use Ethiopian Electric Utility power poles for aerial fiber

March 23, 2022by myles0

Safaricom is preparing for the launch of its commercial activities in Ethiopia. A few days before the date set for this purpose, the telecommunications operator is multiplying infrastructure sharing agreements to consolidate its network and ensure quality of service. 

The mobile phone operator Safaricom Ethiopia signed, Monday, March 21, a new infrastructure sharing agreement with the public company Ethiopian Electric Utility (EEU). Lasting three years, this agreement will allow the telecommunications company to use the electric poles of EPP (Ethiopian Electric Power) for the installation of aerial fibers.

Under the terms of the agreement, Safaricom will deploy its aerial fiber network through EEP’s pole infrastructure in the capital Addis Ababa and across the country. According to Ethiopia’s state-owned electricity company, Safaricom will have to pay 988.7 birr ($19.3) per power pole annually once the deal comes into effect.

This infrastructure sharing agreement is part of Safaricom’s preparations for its commercial launch scheduled for April. The company, which acquired a global license in May 2021, has been exploring infrastructure sharing solutions with already well-established entities since the beginning of the year given its very tight launch schedule. The agreement with EEU comes ten days after that concluded with Ethiopian Electric Power in order to use the latter’s dark optical fiber for five years to provide broadband to its future consumers. In February, it already announced the negotiation of a similar agreement with the incumbent operator Ethio Telecom.

By opting for infrastructure sharing, Safaricom realizes savings on its investment capital. The company also saves valuable time for the launch of its activities. “  Through this win-win partnership, we have the right tools to continue building the network based on solid infrastructure and public sector support  ,” said Anwar Soussa , Chief Executive Officer General of Safaricom Ethiopia.

In addition, the revenues generated by this agreement will be used to rehabilitate part of the old electricity poles of the public electricity company. 

Source: Agence Ecofin

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