The Ethiopian Communications Authority (ECA) announces that the process of selecting the second telecom operator has been terminated.
It is to be recalled that the authority refloated the second tendering in September on the aim to get an additional telecom operator in Ethiopia besides the incumbent state giant Ethio Telecom and Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia Plc.
On the statement issued on Wednesday December 22, ECA stated that the bidding process has temporarily been relinquished as per the request of bidders.
It said that ECA issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the second new full service nationwide Telecommunications Service License on September 28th 2021 and the bidding process was ongoing, “however, ECA received concerns and requests from several prospective bidders to delay the process and to issue the RFP at a convenient time in the future, which the authority fully concurred.”
“Accordingly, ECA has suspended the RFP process for the new second license and will re-launch the process in the near future,” on its announcement the authority said.
Just a year ago the government had floated a bid for two additional telecom licenses and on the process an international consortium named the Global Partnership for Ethiopia, comprising Safaricom Plc, Vodacom Group, Vodafone Group, Sumitomo Corporation and CDC Group, was awarded a license to operate telecom services in Ethiopia in May. The consortium company called Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia is on the process to commence to operation early 2022.
Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia secured the operational license with USD 850 million fee, while the other company selected to join as operators, MTN of South Africa failed to pay at least the amount that the Safaricom consortium paid.
Due to that the authority refloated the bid for one more time in September. Sources said that some interested bidders have bought the bid document however the exact number of bid document buyers has not been revealed.
“The conflict that has been flamed by the terrorist group which has expanded its operation to the south is seen as the reason that has led interested bidder to insist the authority to revise its schedule,” experts on the sector who closely followed the case expressed their guess on the matter. Moreover, they explained that owing to the latest developments in the county which has seen the terrorist capacity dwindling and contracting, more bidders will be drawn in as the authority looks forward to reinstate the process.
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