Ethio Telecom facing break-up before privatisation - Mobile World Live

Ethio Telecom facing break-up before privatisation

18 JUN 2019

Ethiopia reportedly plans to split the country’s incumbent operator into two separate businesses prior to a potential sell-off to outside investors.

Citing comments made by minister of finance Ahmed Shide to a state-affiliated broadcaster, Reuters stated the plan was to divide Ethio Telecom by “infrastructure and service sector lines”.

Details of the proposed privatisation remain sketchy. It is unclear if authorities will retain a sizeable stake in the new businesses and what terms may be put on international investors entering the market.

Modernising the mobile and fixed communications sector is a central policy of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government, which came to office in 2018.

Last week, the country’s parliament approved a bill to create an independent communications regulator, described by officials as a “huge step” in reforming the sector.

Two of Africa’s major operator groups, Vodacom and MTN, have made no secret of their interest in making a play in the country given its potential.

GSMA Intelligence figures for Q1 2019 estimated the country has 41 million mobile connections, with 4G penetration below 9 per cent.

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Chris Donkin

Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved...

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