NAIROBI, Feb 1 (Reuters) - Ethiopia has extended the deadline for telecom firms to bid for new operating licences by a month to April 5, the sector regulator said on Monday, citing requests from interested companies.
The Horn of Africa nation's telecoms industry is considered the big prize in a push to liberalise the economy because of the huge size of the market, which serves more than 100 million people.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is pressing ahead with the auction of the new licences and the sale of a 45% stake in state monopoly Ethio Telecoms, in spite of a military conflict in the northern Tigray region.
Firms will be required to submit their technical and financial bids by April 5, compared with a previous deadline of March 5, the Ethiopian Communications Authority said in a statement.
Winners will be given full operating licences, but they will not be allowed to offer mobile phone-based financial services, government officials said last year.
They will also be required to set up their own network infrastructure, such as cellphone towers, they said.
Kenya's top operator Safaricom SCOM.NR , which has expressed an interest in a consortium with Vodafone VOD.L and Vodacom VODJ.J , estimated in 2019 it would have to pay about $1 billion for a new licence.
Add Chart to Comment
We encourage you to use comments to engage with users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:
- Enrich the conversation
- Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed.
- Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically.
- Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases.
- NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and links within a comment will be removed
- Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user.
- Don’t Monopolize the Conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also believe strongly in giving everyone a chance to air their thoughts. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
- Only English comments will be allowed.
Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.