Ethiopia says hello to two telecoms

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As a result of the economic reform process two more telecoms are expected to join the market next April.
The Ethiopian Communications Authority (ECA) announced that it has officially kicked off the public consultation process prior to issuing new telecommunications licenses. It started on October 22 and will be open for four weeks followed by a request for a proposal (RFP), according to Balcha Reba, Director General of ECA.
He said by mid November the RFP will be issued and the final bid will be on air starting in December and ending in early April.
A public consultation is being conducted to obtain feedback for the licensing framework, according to ECA official. “This stakeholder consultation will be a key input to the development of the regulatory framework for the telecommunications sector,” the consultation document on the ECA website stated.
He said that there is ample time for the bidding process and the telecom operators will be finalized by April, 2020.
About a year ago the government decided to open the telecom sector to other investors besides Ethio Telecom, the state monopoly.
Based on the recent announcement at the initial stage two more telecom companies will be allowed to join the market.
According to the plan the process of selecting two telecom companies will be finalized in April.
“This public notice initiates a stakeholder consultation, to collect all interested stakeholders’ contributions regarding the proposed regulatory framework and market opening process. The process and rules of the consultation, its background and scope are further detailed within this public notice. In addition to the main body of the public notice, we are also releasing for stakeholder comment the following annexes that elaborate on the planned market opening and regulatory framework,” the public consultation document stated on its initial page.
Currently several international telecom companies have expressed their interest in investing.
In a related development in the partial privatization process of Ethio Telecom, the transaction advisor selection process has been taken to another level.
Brook Taye, an advisor at Ministry of Finance, said the expression of interest concluded last Friday October 18 and 22 companies have submitted their interest.
He said as per the procurement process about nine companies will be shortlisted. The RFP will be sent to the shortlisted companies and within a month they are expected to come up with their financial and technical document.