Safaricom Telecommunications, a recent entrant in the Ethiopian market, has secured a five-year lease agreement with Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP), a state-owned power utility company, to share fibre optic infrastructure.
The deal sees Safaricom using an already existing fibre optic ground network operating in high voltage transmission lines owned by EEP. The state-owned utility company has access to over 15000km of fibre optic lines which will now be shared with Safaricom.
EEP advised that Safaricom will share 4097km of fibre optic lines for the first phase of the agreement. When the deal transitions to phase two, the utility company will avail 2078km of the lines, followed by the third phase, whereby 2904km lines will be made available to Safaricom. Additionally, EPP expects to secure up to 140 million Ethiopia Telebirr (ETB) a year during the first phase of the infrastructure lease agreement.
This deal will open up Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia’s network in order for them to provide to their customer base seamless connection to a variety of services ranging from data, video, voice, text messages, among other offerings.
According to reports, the agreement was signed by Ashebir Balcha, the Chief Executive Officer at EPP and Anwar Soussa, who is Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia’s, Chief Executive Officer.
In speaking about the deal, Anwar Soussa says, “Safaricom is grateful for the warm welcome from EEP on the mutually beneficial partnership that will support the aims and goals of making a huge contribution towards the digital transformation of Ethiopia. A deal such as ours will enable our organisation to commit to transforming Ethiopian lives for a digital future. Also, we are in the process of ensuring efforts are being placed in the right areas to kickstart the phased operation launch.”
Asher Balcha added to the statement by emphasising that the agreement has laid the foundation for the two organisations to work closely together. “The deal we signed to share optic fibre cables infrastructure will enable EPP to make use of its resources and in the process, increase revenue whilst enabling Safaricom to provide quality and competitive telecommunication services.”
A confirmation from Telecommunications Ethiopia noted that the company had finalised arrangements to launch commercial operations that would enable high-quality telecommunications services across Ethiopia by May of this year.