Ethiopia will finally start issuing new telecom licenses. It published a directive that shows that spectrum permits will be valid for 15 years. The Ethiopian Communications Authority (ECA) will be holding meetings regarding the proposed directives for 14 days, until the 11th of May 2020.
ECA will be reviewing issues about licensing, consumer rights, protection, and dispute resolution. It also released related directives on consumer rights and dispute resolutions. Additional guidelines will soon be published, including directives on quality of service (QoS), numbering, interconnection, infrastructure sharing and collocation, telecom rights of way, and universal access obligation framework.
The government is now willing to offer two new licenses and to sell part of Ethio Telecom, the state-owned telecommunication company. The issuance of these mobile licenses will be based on an auction. This will help liberalize the economy and attract more foreign direct investment in the country.
So far, Vodacom Group, MTN Group, Orange SA, and Helios Towers have expressed interest in investing in Ethiopia. According to a statement by the regulator, it has to approve a proposed transfer of a 10% share of the Telcos to an investor.
Ethiopia is Africa’s second-most populous nation, with over 100 million people. Its initial plans to issue licenses by March 2020 were delayed by elections, which have been further postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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