The government of Ethiopia was reportedly looking to hold an auction covering two new mobile licences by February 2021, moving the tender deadline by nearly a year from its original plan due to the Covid-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.
In addition to the auction, Bloomberg cited the country’s Minister of Finance Eyob Tekalign Tolina as stating Ethiopia intended to sell a stake in state-owned Ethio Telecom within the same timeframe.
The country initially aimed to issue licences to two new entrants in Q1 this year, but its plan was impacted by the pandemic.
By the middle of the year, a dozen companies including Orange, MTN Group, Saudi Telecom Company and Etisalathad expressed interest in acquiring a licence.
Orange was tipped to be in a strong position to secure a licence Bloomberg noted.
Ethio Telecom is currently the only operator in the market, with almost 45 million connections (excluding IoT) in Q2, figures from GSMA Intelligence showed.
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