The Ethiopian Communications Authority (ECA) has delayed the issue of two new nationwide operating licences.
As reported by TeleGeography, the regulator posted a statement confirming that the decision was taken to delay the process in response to requests from prospective bidders during the RFP (request for proposals).
As a result, the ECA has extended the deadline for bids to 5th April 2021, granting interested parties an extra month to complete their tender documents. The RFP has been open since November 2020, with operators able to request the terms until mid-December 2020.
Ethiopia is in the process of liberalising its market to boost innovation and development, and as part of this the government will award two full nationwide licences through a competitive tender. Several major international groups have expressed an interest in entering the market, including Etisalat, MTN, Orange, STC and Vodafone Group.
The entry of new players to the market will will end the longstanding monopoly of the state-owned provider Ethio Telecom. The government is aiming to sell a stake in this unit to further open up the market.