The long-awaited deadline for the bidding process for the two telecom licenses being offered to foreign telecom operators is officially past as of 10 AM (local time) today. The consortium led by Vodafone, which includes Safaricom, is projected as the favourite for one of the licenses.

A total of 6 telecom operators were able to submit their bids before the deadline; a deadline which has been postponed multiple times since the Ethiopian government announced that it would be providing telecom licenses. The 6 operators are Safaricom (Kenya), Vodafone (Great Britain),  Vodacom (South Africa), CDC Group (Great Britain), Sumitomo Corporation (Japan), and MTN (South Africa).

Vodafone, Vodacom, Safaricom, CDC Group, and Sumitomo Corporation submitted their bids as a joint bid and would be operating as such if awarded a license.

Other companies that had previously expressed interest in submitting bid applications for the telecom licenses on offer include Etisalat (UAE), Orange SA (France), and Sharing Mobile Group (China), all of which did not make the final cut.

All eyes seem to be focused on Safaricom and MTN at this stage. According to Brook Taye, an advisor to the Finance Ministry, it is an inevitability that either one of these companies will receive one of the licenses. Given the Vodacom Consortium that Safaricom is part of that assessment seems accurate given that, in essence, there are effectively only 2 competitors for the licenses (the consortium, Vodafone, and MTN).

Acknowledging this, however, the Ethiopian Communications Authority says that there is still a possibility that it will only award one license if both bids are not attractive.

Mobile money is still limited to Ethiopian institutions with no word on any prospective allowances or reversals.

Bloomberg, The East African

By admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *