Ethiopia opens licensing consultation

Ethiopia opens licensing consultation

The Ethiopian Communications Authority has commenced three consultations on the process for licensing entrants to the country’s liberalised telecoms market.

Having opened today (28th April), the consultations will run till 11th May, with the regulator also set to disclose draft frameworks relating to consumer rights and disputes. Stakeholders will be able to offer their feedback on the length of the licences and the method for determining successful applicants.

The ECA will also issue documents relating to the provision of fixed and mobile service. These will provide recommendations on infrastructure sharing, interconnection, service quality and universal access obligations.

In 2019, the regulator held consultations on its proposed liberalisation of Ethiopia’s telecoms sector. It had scheduled the issue of two licences for Q1 2020 and floated the possibility of private firms investing in the state-owned Ethio Telecom.

While these plans have been delayed by the ongoing pandemic, the regulator is evidently keen to press ahead with them. Several groups with a strong footprint in Africa have stated their interest in the Ethiopian market, including Econet Global, MTN, Orange, Safaricom and Vodacom.

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