second time a charm

Will South Africa’s MTN get lucky in Ethiopia’s 2nd round of telco licensing?

By Quentin Velluet

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Posted on May 28, 2021 10:18

A worker attends to a customer at an MTN shop at mall in Johannesburg
A worker attends to a customer at an MTN shop at a mall in Johannesburg, South Africa, March 2, 2017. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

South African operator MTN may well be in the running to receive Ethiopia’s second telecoms licence in a few months.

The Ethiopian government recently awarded a telecoms licence to a consortium led by Safaricom.

A second round of licensing, aimed at opening up the country’s telecoms sector to competition, is expected to take place in the coming months, according to Brook Taye, an adviser to the ministry of finance and one of the main architects behind liberalisation of the sector.

An insufficient bid

“We are currently making the final adjustments to a new call for tender. The call for expressions of interest will be relaunched for an additional licence. If MTN wants to participate again and make a more complete offer, there is a good chance that they will be selected,” says the consultant who has been working on the project since 2018.

We contacted the operator, led by Ralph Mupita, but he did not wish to respond to our requests for comment prior to the publication of this article.

MTN, which has

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