May 2 , 2020
By September, three full telecommunications service providers are expected to be licensed by the Ethiopian Communications Authority, the newly formed organ in charge of regulating telecom and radio frequency, including two new operators beside the existing state-owned Ethio telecom. The Authority availed a draft communication licensing directive last week that will enable it to issue licenses to full operators and class service providers. The 19-page draft, which has been availed for stakeholder consultation, states that companies with unified licenses, aka full-service providers, can deliver all mobile, internet and fixed call services to customers. Class license holders can engage with telecommunications infrastructure, internet service, value-added services, virtual internet, and hosting services, among other elements. The three full-service operators will be licensed for 15 years, and their licenses will be subject for renewal, according to the directive, which is open for comments until May 11, 2020. The Authority also availed two more draft directives that handle dispute resolution and consumer rights and protection. The Authority aims to issue a total of 12 directives, six of which will enable the Authority to issue licenses for the new service operators. For the issuance of the three licenses to the full-service operators, the Authority is working on a document to announce it is looking for bidders. It will then announce a tender for the companies that respond. Ethio telecom is also required to re-register.