ADDIS ABABA, June 26 (Reuters) - Ethiopia’s communications regulator said on Friday it received twelve bids for the two telecom licences it plans to award to multinational mobile companies, breaking the state monopoly.
Nine bidders are telecom operators and two non-telecom operators, and one submission was incomplete, the regulator said.
Bidders include Etisalat, Axian, MTN, Orange, Saudi Telecom Company, Telkom SA, Liquid Telecom, Snail Mobile and Global Partnership for Ethiopia, a consortium of telecom operators made of Vodafone, Vodacom, and Safaricom. The two non-telecom operators are Kandu Global Telecommunications and Electromecha International Projects.
The issuing of licences will open up one of the world’s last major closed telecoms markets in the country of around 110 million.
The Ethiopian Communications Authority said the licenses will be awarded through a “competitive bidding process,” but did not clarify a deadline for it.
“This is the initial stage. We will soon have...the second stage,” said Balch Reba, director-general of the Ethiopian Communication Authority. (Reporting by Dawit Endeshaw, Editing by Giulia Paravicini and Chizu Nomiyama)