Ethiopia: Industry Regulator Sees Tepid Take-Up For Telco Licences
Ethiopia's continued drive to liberalise its telecommunication sector and open it up to international investors seem to be hitting unexpected bumps in the road as foreign investors seem to be cooling-off as the Ethiopian Communications Authority announces that it has not received any bid yet for two new telecommunications licences that it has put on offer to international players.
Even as some international mobile operators, including Vodacom, MTN, Etisalat and Orange, have been initially interested - keen even - to participate in the bids, a statement from the regulatory authority in Ethiopia concerning this said: "We wish to clarify that to date no proposals have been received for the two new telecom licenses, and no prospective bidder has been shortlisted, prequalified nor excluded from participating in the bid process".
This development has come as a surprise because the Ethiopian telecommunications market has been earmarked as one of the remaining greenfield areas in Africa that could yield bountiful returns on investment.
Ethiopia is also trying to bring new investments and breath new dynamism into Ethiop telecom, which shared and ownership is presently being held publicly via the Ethiopian government.