Telcom operator Safaricom has delayed the launch of services in Ethiopia, initially expected in April. In a statement released by Safaricom, the operator said, “We are preparing for commercial launch to provide services within 2022. We are continuing network build-out, recruitment of staff, “and testing our services to ensure we provide a world-class network and customer experience across the country”.
According to industry reports, the delay – almost three months – will give its state-owned monopoly rival, Ethio Telecom, a further advantage in its fight against a new competitor.
A senior Vodafone executive said, “Safaricom will launch the services in due course.”
In March 2022, Matthew Harrison-Harvey, the company’s chief external affairs and regulatory officer, said the operator planned to launch services on 9 April.
Harrison-Harvey further noted that Nokia will supply the core network and coverage for Addis Ababa, while Huawei will serve the rest of the country.
Safaricom Kenya, which is 35 per cent owned by Vodacom and 5 per cent by Vodafone, owns 55.7 per cent of the Ethiopian start-up. While Sumitomo of Japan has 27.2 per cent, and the UK government – through its aid agency, British International Investment – owns 10.9 per cent.