Ethiopia extends telecom license telecom bidding date

Ethiopia Communications Authority (ECA) has indicated extending the deadline for international bidders to compete for the two telecom licenses the authority is set to issue.

“Due to requests by bidders to have more time to finalize their offer in light of Covid market environment, ECA determined their question to be appropriate and the deadline for submission of bids for the 2 new Telecom Operator Licenses is extended to April 26th, 2021, 10 am EAT,” ECA said.

The deadline set by ECA to submit the bid has expired on April 5, 2021. Before the April 5 deadline, ECA’s initial deadline was March 5, 2021. In Ethiopia telecom service was closed to foreign investors. Liberalization of the sector came after the government announced its plan to open the sector for competition about three years ago as part of telecom sector reform.

In addition to opening the sector for completion the government has also announced to sell up to 45 percent of its share in Ethio Telecom, the over 100 years old state monopoly. Out of the 45 percent, 5 percent will be sold to the general public while the remaining will be offered for foreign telecom operators.

“The objectives of the telecommunications sector reform are to expand reliable and accessible communications for all Ethiopians in order to enhance the economic and social development of the country and promote rapid economic transformation and growth. Greater connectivity will lead to improvements in the quality of life for Ethiopians and maximize the opportunities presented by the digital economy,” ECA stated in its bid document.

“In support of this policy framework and objectives, the Ethiopian Communications Authority (ECA), as the regulator of the communications sector, intends to award two nationwide full‐service telecommunications licenses through a competitive bidding process,” it said.