Ethiopia opens bidding for a Second Independent Telecom
Last month we reported that MTN had withdrawn from the Ethiopian market having failed to get the telecom license it wanted. But Ethiopia sold only one of two full-service licenses on offer in May, citing a lower than expected price for the second one, which it now wants to offer again. A consortium led by Kenya’s top operator, Safaricom, secured the first license. Safaricom’s winning bid of $850m could serve as a guide for the price of the remaining license. State monopoly Ethio Telecom, which launched a new mobile financial service called Telebirr in May, snagged 4 million users within weeks, showing the potential of the market. A separate sale of a 40% stake in Ethio is going on, part of a drive to liberalise the sector and also open up the broader economy.
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