Safaricom Ethiopia PLC signs a 500 million dollar deal with Nokia for its infrastructure development and network expansion in Ethiopia. The agreement between the two companies is said to be a long-time agreement.
Accordingly, Nokia’s network expansion is said to be focused on the core network infrastructure in Addis Ababa and its surrounding areas.
Safaricom Ethiopia which was formed by the amalgamation of Safaricom, Sumitomo Corporation, CDC Group and Vodacom secured its operational license from the government in early June 2021 and is set to officially do business in Ethiopia as a second telecom company after the state-owned Ethio Telecom.
Additional to Nokia, previously the company shortlisted the Chinese global telecom giant Huawei to set up its infrastructure.
The company signed a deal with Huawei Technologies of the Chinese multinational technology corporation for the infrastructure development that it aspires to realize in a short period. To this end, Huawei will cover the rest of the country with its infrastructure development for Safaricom Ethiopia.
Both companies are not new to similar activity in Ethiopia. For instance, the Finnish company was engaged in the second massive mobile network development project in the country that ended in the early 2000s and other IT projects. Similarly, the Chinese company, which is leading the global telecom network development with Nokia, is engaged in the massive mobile network expansion with ZTE of China in the fourth and last phase of the major mobile network sector development. It has also recently concluded the national 4G network expansion and network upgrading for Ethio Telecom.
Safaricom- Ethiopia is expected to gear up for its commercially launch operations in a few days with the company planning to provide 4G and 5G internet service. It is also said that by 2023 a low orbit satellite will be put in place to provide nationwide 4G coverage by the firm.
To get the license Safaricom -Ethiopia paid USD 850 million to the government and promised to invest up to USD 8.5 billion in the coming decade.
The company is now starting engagements with Ethio Telecom, which is expected to provide rental service of its infrastructure for the new telecom operator.
As part of its network expansion, Safaricom is also working to build towers, fiber extensions, broadband connections and so on within the ICT Park, with expansions including site selections to establish towers for the 5G trail.