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Safaricom Ethiopia ‘close’ to network deal with Ethio Telecom

ETHIO Telecom and new rival Safaricom Ethiopia are close to a deal on infrastructure sharing and interconnection.

The incumbent operator, 100 percent state owned, says it has ‘conducted a productive meeting’ (pictured) with Safaricom Ethiopia together with the regulator, the Ethiopian Communications Authority (ECA).

Ethio Telecom said on April 13 it has ‘successfully concluded our multi-round negotiations on infrastructure sharing and interconnection’ adding,  ‘the two companies will sign [an] agreement soon.’

Matthew Harrison-Harvey, Safaricom Ethiopia’s chief external affairs and regulatory officer, told tech news outlet Capacity that ‘there will be a wholesale agreement, and we will be looking to do infrastructure sharing. … There will be national roaming, subject to the quality of their national network.’

This is what now seems to have been achieved. ‘We’ve been focusing on a win-win partnership, and that’s what the government wants as well,’ said Harrison-Harvey. ‘We’re learning lots about them and we hope to conclude [a deal].’

Lack of a deal is likely to have been the reason for Safaricom’s missing its target launch date last weekend. The company said this week: ‘We will be providing an update on our launch plans in the coming days.’



Alan Burkitt-Gray/Capacity Media

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