Telecom Services

Ethiopia: MTN Seeks To Be Second-Time Lucky With Telco Licence Application

Ralph Mupita, MTN’s Chief Executive, has said that the Group is considering re-applying to become a mobile operator in the country after losing to Kenya’s Safaricom.

It has already been in the news that MTN Group and its counterparts were unsuccessful in applying for a telecom licence in Ethiopia. A consortium led by Vodafone and Kenya-based telco Safaricom as the preferred bidder confirmed at the end of the competitive process involving MTN and other bidders.

The lengthy process was to help open up the country’s telecoms market, said the Ethiopian Communications Authority (ECA) and The Ministry of Finance when confirming Global Partnership for Ethiopia consortium was the successful applicant in the bid process.  The consortium pledged to spend $8 billion on the operation over the next ten years.

During the company’s virtually held 26th annual general meeting (AGM) recently. The Group informed stakeholders about the need to re-strategize and apply for the failed telecom licence should the Ethiopian government reissue the permit.

The Group expressed that the approach they took for the bid pricing for near-term risks, noting issues around the lack of mobile money in the licencing regime and how the telcos constructs would be accommodated within Ethiopia, met all the capital allocation framework and hurdles given in the license conditions. The Group expressed they are comfortable with the outcome regardless of not being named winning bidder.

“We will be waiting on Ethiopian authorities to reissue the license with mobile money, and if they do that in a relatively short period, the teleco will take on the opportunity, but a firm decision on that has not been made, said Mupita.”


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