ADDIS ABABA: Sharing Mobile Group, a Chinese telecom operator, is joining the bid for the telecom license in Ethiopia as the East African country envisaged liberalizing the telecom sector, China’s Xinhua News Agency quoted company sources.
The Ethiopian Communications Authority (ECA) published a statement in May 2020, announcing that it would launch a request of proposal for two new full-service telecommunications licenses, which would allow capable operators to conduct telecommunications business in Ethiopia.
According to the Ethiopian government, the key policy objectives that comprise the telecom reforms envisage enhancing Ethiopia’s digital development; increasing telecommunications accessibility for sections of society and enable the success of the sector; building an international standard telecom industry focused on capacity and quality; as well as enabling the country to generate wealth from the sector.
The move is an important milestone for Ethiopia’s telecommunications industry. The liberalization of the telecom market in Ethiopia has not been affected under the COVID-19 pandemic, demonstrating the government’s strong will to carry out economic reforms. As the ECA expressed, Ethiopia shall continue its commitment to liberalize the telecom sector and further advance the digital economy.
Since its establishment in September 2019, the ECA has engaged in an intensive effort to spearhead the telecom liberalization effort in Ethiopia.
According to ECA’s plan, licenses will be awarded to the winning companies through a sealed bidding process. Sharing Mobile has joined the bidding process, together with South African telecom operator MTN Group, French telecom operator Orange and British telecom operator Vodafone.
On June 26, 2020, the ECA announced that it received 12 submissions on the closing date of June 22, 2020, of which 9 were said to be telecom operators, 2 non-telecom operators and 1 incomplete submission.
Sharing Mobile has been actively exploring the overseas markets. In April 2016, Sharing Mobile successfully acquired 80 percent of GiCell, a Nigerian telecom operator, for 200 million U.S. dollars, pioneering the first acquisition of an overseas operator by a Chinese private telecom company, according to Xinhua.
With flexible decision-making mechanism and deep accumulation in technological innovation and platform building, Sharing Mobile is expected to be a strong competitor in this transaction, bringing more localized communication products to Ethiopia and introducing the most advanced communication technology and international operation management system to enhance the economic competitiveness of Ethiopia’s communication industry. (Xinhua)