A consortium, led by Vodacom affiliate Safaricom, has won a licence to operate a mobile network in Ethiopia, the first such award to a private group as the country looks to open up its telecoms industry to competition. 

In 2020 Ethiopia started a bidding process for two new licences to compete with Ethio Telecom, the state-owned and only network operator with about 45-million subscribers. Mobile network operators including MTN and Vodacom have been eyeing an entry into Ethiopia to beef up their operations on the continent, given the number of customers that the country could add to their bases. ..

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