Safaricom Ethiopia ‘close’ to network deal with Ethio Telecom

Ethiopia meeting 13 april.jpg

Ethio Telecom and new rival Safaricom Ethiopia are close to a deal on infrastructure sharing and interconnection.

The incumbent operator, 100% state owned, says it has “conducted a productive meeting” (pictured) with Safaricom Ethiopia together with the regulator, the Ethiopian Communications Authority (ECA).

Last night Ethio Telecom said it has “successfully concluded our multi-round negotiations on infrastructure sharing and interconnection” and said: “The two companies will sign [an] agreement soon.”

In an interview with Capacity, to be published shortly in the April-May issue, Matthew Harrison-Harvey, Safaricom Ethiopia’s chief external affairs and regulatory officer, said: “There will be a wholesale agreement, and we will be looking to do infrastructure sharing. … There will be national roaming, subject to the quality of their national network.”

This is what now seems to have been achieved. “We’ve been focusing on a win-win partnership, and that’s what the government wants as well,” said Harrison-Harvey in the interview. “We’re learning lots about them and we hope to conclude [a deal].”

Lack of a deal is likely to have been the reason for Safaricom’s missing its target launch date last weekend. The company told Capacity earlier this week: “We will be providing an update on our launch plans in the coming days.”