Safaricom Ethiopia Plc executives, led by Anwar Sousa, have pushed their commercial operations start date to August 2022. The company has announced it will begin providing services as part of a test launch in Dire Dawa town in the coming weeks. Safaricom Ethiopia chose Dire Dawa, 550Km east of the capital, because the network infrastructure has been set up there, according to Matthew Harrison-Harvey, chief external affairs and regulatory officer. A press release from the company says it plans to expand its pilot launch to 24 towns. It has thus far invested close to one billion dollars in its venture, including the 850 million dollar fee it paid to acquire the country's first private telecom operator's license last year. Safaricom Ethiopia had initially scheduled the launch of commercial operations for April this year. However, prolonged infrastructure sharing negotiations with the state-owned Ethio telecom have been causing delays.