The Global Partnership for Ethiopia, a consortium of large telecom operators who won the country's very first private telecom license a few weeks ago, has deposited the full licensing fee amounting to 850million dollars into the government's coffers. The consortium, which includes Safaricom, Vodafone, Vodacom, Sumitomo Corporation and the CDC Group, was awarded a 15-year license while MTN, which offered 600 million dollars, lost out in its bid for the other license up for grabs. The consortium has pledged to invest 8.5 billion dollars within a decade in the form of capital expenditure and operational cost, on top of the license fee. Planning to begin operation in 2022, it is expected to create 1.4 million jobs, attain full 4G Network coverage and launch a 5G network. The fund earned from the license fee is expected to go into the Liability & Asset Management Corporation, established recently with a capital of 570 billion Br to cover the accumulated domestic debt of state-owned enterprises, which amounts to over one trillion Birr.
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