Ethiopia says telecoms competition to start in February

Ethiopia says telecoms competition to start in February

Balcha Reba Ethiopian Comms Auth.jpg

Ethiopia says it wants to open the telecoms market to competition by February 2021, though it has not yet named the operators that will compete with Ethio Telecom, the state-owned incumbent.

Balcha Reba (pictured), director general of the Ethiopian Communications Authority (ECA), has allocated spectrum for the new operators and says they will be named in the next few days.

And prime minister Abiy Ahmed, who started off the liberalisation process, has approved the steps taken so far, according to the Ecofin news agency.

The ECA says that each new operator will get 10MHz of capacity in the 900MHz band and a further 20MHz in the 1,800MHz band.

Ethio Telecom will get 15MHz in the 900MHz band and 35MHz in the 1,800MHz band, says ECA.

According to Ecofin, prime minister Abiy has approved the completion of the market liberalisation process. The decision was made at a meeting with the ECA, along with the Ministry of Finance, Ethio Telecom, a ministerial macroeconomic reform team and members of the Privatization Advisory Council.

The new service providers will have to extend their network coverage to 25% of the population within 12 months of entering the market, 40% within 24 months, 55% within 36 months, 70% within 48 months, and 80% within 60 months.

The new operators should cover 97% of the national territory in telecom services 15 years after launching their activities.

According to Ecofin, telecommunications service providers will be required to provide free services to non-profit entities in the public interest. They will not be allowed to retail mobile phones.





Gift this article