Ethio Telecom and soon-to-launch rival Safaricom Ethiopia successfully negotiated terms around infrastructure sharing and interconnection, the country’s communications authority stated, with contracts to be signed shortly.

The Ethiopian Communications Authority noted it mediated the talks, which covered tower and power sharing, transmission capacity leases and interconnection.

Separate statements from the operators explained they were now working to conclude the subsequent agreements, with Ethio Telecom stating it would be done soon.

In a social media post, Safaricom Ethiopia described the development as an “important milestone for digital Ethiopia” adding the agreements together with its network investment “will be important foundations for our commercial launch this year”.

Safaricom is leading a venture set to become the country’s first private mobile operator after beating MTN Group in a tender process in 2021. The organisation, then called Global Partnership for Ethiopia, spent $850 million for the licence alone.

Shortly after the conclusion of the tender, Ethiopia’s finance ministry indicated it expected a launch during Q1, though the operator is yet to commence commercial services.