Safaricom Ethiopia ‘close’ to network deal with Ethio Telecom

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.”

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