Vodafone, MTN, Orange and Etisalat are likely to show interest in tapping the telecom market in Ethiopia.
Ethiopia, which has a population of around 100 million, will award two telecoms licenses to multinational mobile companies, opening one of the world’s last major closed telecom markets.
The government will also offer 49 percent stake in Ethio Telecom, the monopoly mobile operator, and foreign firms will be invited to bid, Reuters reported.
“We have announced the market structure as ‘two plus one’,” State Minister of Finance Eyob Tekalign Tolina said.
“They got the balance right,” said Andrew Kitson, a telecoms analyst at Fitch Solutions in London. “They have decided that two new players plus a state-owned incumbent is sufficient to create a level playing field, a competitive market.”
Uganda and Ghana have more than five telecoms operators.