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Ethiopia Releases Expressions of Interest to Issue Two Telecom Licenses

May 21 , 2020



The government has started the long-anticipated telecom liberalisation process by launching the request for Expressions of Interest (EOI) to issue two new telecommunications licenses.

The Ethiopian Communications Authority (ECA) launched the request for EOI this afternoon by inviting international companies to take part in the monopolised telecom industry. The EOI will stay open until June 22nd. The two companies are expected to join Ethio telecom, which is required to re-register and follow the new procedures to obtain a license.

The liberalisation process is part of the government's Homegrown Economic Reform Agenda, which hopes to improve the quality and connectivity of telecommunication services to support rapid economic transformation and the digital economy.


Established on August 12, 2019, the Authority has been engaged with the preparation work of the liberalisation process, including holding a public consultation in November 2019. It also hired the International Finance Corporation (IFC) as a transaction advisor and drafted directives for a regulatory framework.

After the EOI, the Authority will then announce a tender for the companies that are shortlisted by the expression of interest. The two nationwide full-service licenses will be awarded to telecommunications companies selected through a competitive bidding process.

The three full-service operators, including Ethio telecom, will be licensed for 15 years, and their license is subject to renewal. The license will enable the companies to provide and combine mobile, internet and fixed call services.


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