The consortium led by Safaricom obtained its operating license in May 2021. Almost a year later, the company has still not launched its commercial activities, initially planned for the month of April.
The telecommunications operator Safaricom has missed the deadline for launching its activities in Ethiopia. According to the local press, the Ethiopian Communications Authority (ECA) has verbally extended Safaricom’s commercial launch deadline until July 2022. Allegations refuted by the regulator.
According to the agreement signed with the government and the regulations in force, the new entrant in the telecommunications sector was supposed to start its commercial activities nine months after the award of its license. Safaricom, which obtained its telecom license in May 2021, had a very tight schedule for the launch of activities. The company has opted to share infrastructure with already well-established companies such as the state-owned Ethiopian Electric Utility and Ethiopian Electric Power.
More recently, the company revealed that it has reached an agreement in principle with incumbent operator Ethio Telecom to share the latter’s telecom infrastructure to provide telecom services in the Horn of Africa country. According to sources familiar with the matter, the telecom company is expected to begin operations once the deal is finalized. Safaricom had announced that it had completed building its own network, customer processing system and trialled calls in various cities including Addis Ababa, Bahir Dar, Hawassa, Dire Dawa and Harar.
“ We are continuing preparations for our commercial launch in 2022. An important part of this, as announced, is the conclusion of an agreement in principle with Ethio Telecom on interconnection, transmission capacity and tower and network sharing. ‘electricity ,'” Safaricom told local press.