Kenyan operator Safaricom and parent Vodacom Group plan a joint bid for an Ethiopian telecommunications licence that they expect to cost as much as USD 1 billion, Bloomberg reported. Ethiopia is expected to invite bids for two new licences this month to compete with its monopoly Ethiopian Telecom, which is due for part-privatisation in early 2020. The bid for the Ethiopian spectrum could be “quite high”, acting Safaricom CEO Michael Joseph said.
International carriers including Orange and MTN Group are among companies interested in expanding in the nation. Safaricom and Vodacom intend to vie for one of the two permits in a consortium with two financial institutions, Joseph said. While Safaricom does not rule out participating in the privatisation of Ethio Telecom, it is more keen on a greenfield operation, he told investors earlier.―Telecompaper