The MTN Group will not be participating in the second telecom license bid, its executives announced. It was one of the two bidders that were vying to get the first-ever private telecom license earlier this year. MTN was rejected after offering 650 million dollars, much lower than the 850 million dollar bid from the Safaricom-led consortium. Following the award of one of the two licenses to the consortium, the Ethiopian Communications Authority re-floated the bid this month after adjusting policy restrictions, such as the provision of mobile financial services. The ban that prevented foreign operators to involve in mobile banking services will be lifted, according to officials. The government of Ethiopia is also in progress to sell off a 40pc stake in the state-owned Ethio Telecom. It already called for an expression of interest a month ago, though it is yet to announce the number of interested bidders.