Telecommunication giant, Vodafone along with Vodacom and Safaricom Kenya have a won a $850 million telecommunication license in Ethiopia.
While Vodafone was successful in obtaining the license, its fellow telecommunication giant MTN, failed to obtain a license for $600 million.
A spokesperson for MTN following its failure to acquire the license said telecom was disappointed with the unsuccessful outcome, adding that “the bid was guided by strategic and capital allocation disciplines.”
The license given to the Vodafone consortium (Vodafone Group, Vodacom and Safaricom Kenya), has paved the way for the long-awaited opening of the Ethiopian telecom sector to foreign investors.
According to a senior adviser to the Ethiopian Finance Minister, Brooks Taye, a second-round auction of the sale of the license would commence after some policy adjustments.to allow the acceptance of fresh bids from foreign investors.
Reports have it that Vodafone plans to invest some $8.5 billion in their network during the first decade of their operations in Ethiopia.
Aside the Vodafone Consortium, other license winners include the CDC Group Plc and Sumitomo Corporation.
Together, the new license winners have committed to creating 1.1 million jobs and cover the country with a 4G network service by 2023.
Ethiopia has a population of more than 110 million, the second-largest in Africa, yet less than half its people have mobile phone subscriptions.
The acquisition of a license and subsequent operations by Vodafone ahead of MTN in Ethiopia, presents it with the opportunity to capture the majority of the citizens and expand its customer base.