Ethio Telecom to be divided into services and infrastructure companies

| June 19, 2019

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Ethiopia is to split its monopoly telecoms operator, Ethio Telecom, into a network company and a services company before the two units are privatised. State-controlled Fana Broadcasting quoted finance minister Ahmed Shide outlining for the first time how Ethio Telecom will be split. The government, led by prime minister Abiy Ahmed since April 2018, announced last year that Ethio Telecom would be split in two before privatisation, but this is the first time any minister has outlined the process. Previously it was widely assumed that the split would be on regional lines. The plan follows along the lines already pioneered by a number of countries: Telecom New Zealand split into Chorus, an infrastructure company, and Spark, a services company. Australia’s NBN provides infrastructure that Telstra, Optus and others use. Telecom Italia – TIM – has repeatedly examined a functional split. Openreach, though still owned by BT, provides local infrastructure to all UK service providers.

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