A request for proposal (RFP) for Ethiopia’s second new full-service telecommunications licence – ‘Licence B’ – has been published by the Ethiopian Communications Authority (ECA). It has been confirmed that the concession on offer will include permission to offer ‘mobile financial services’, as well as ‘additional spectrum allocation’, while it also has ‘revised pre‐qualification criteria to include participation from a wide range of international and national telecommunications operators’. Would-be bidders have until 20 December 2021 to respond to the RFP, with the ECA noting that the final selection will be announced following a thorough evaluation of the proposals according to the pre‐defined criteria. The licence itself is expected to be issued in January 2022.
Commenting on the matter, Eng. Balcha Reba, Director General of the ECA, said: ‘The goal of liberalising our telecoms sector has always been to drive competition and attract greater private sector investment as a key part of Ethiopia’s digital transformation. Following our successful first licence issuance earlier this year to one of the world’s largest international telecoms consortia, we have continued with our mission and now want to encourage more telecoms operators, of all sizes, to be part of this exciting opportunity.’
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in May 2021 Global Partnership for Ethiopia (Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia) was named as the winner of the country’s first new telecoms concession, after agreeing to pay USD850 million for it; the 15-year licence became effective from 9 July 2021 and the new operator is expected to launch a commercial service in 2022.