October 22, 2019 / 12:49 PM / a month ago

Ethiopia to issue two telcoms licences by April, behind initial schedule

NAIROBI, Oct 22 (Reuters) - Ethiopia plans to award two telcoms licences to multinational mobile companies by April 2020, breaking the state monopoly by April, the new communications regulator said on Tuesday, an apparent delay in the timeline officials had previously set.

Balcha Reba, director general of the Ethiopian Communications Authority, gave the date at a press conference. In June, Reuters reported that Ethiopia would issue the licences by the end of the year, quoting Ethiopian officials and telcoms executives with direct knowledge of the process.

The issuing of licences will end a state monopoly and open up one of the world’s last major closed telecoms markets in the country of around 100 million. (Reporting by Kumera Gemechu Additional reporting by Giulia Paravicini Writing by Maggie Fick; editing by David Evans)

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