Ethiopia’s communications regulator gave prospective new entrants into the country’s mobile market an extra three weeks to submit initial documents to be considered, citing requests from interested parties for more time.

The Ethiopian Communications Authority issued a Request for Qualification in late June, kicking-off the process of finding a third nationwide mobile player. Its deadline for submissions was today (15 September).

However this has now been pushed to 6 October following what it described as concerns and requests from “several prospective investors” to extend the deadline.

The regulator noted it was looking for “world-class telecommunications operators to come forward” in the process.

Its move to find a new player is part of an ambition to push forward the country’s mobile ecosystem, which had been a monopoly until Safaricom entered the market in 2022, having been awarded a licence the previous year.

In the initial tender, MTN Group had also made a bid for a licence during the first call, though its offer was rejected in favour of retendering.