Vodacom: Office opened in Ethiopia

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Vodacom opened its first office in Ethiopia on Tuesday, eyeing a foothold in the last remaining large market on the continent to maintain a state monopoly in telecommunications. State-run Ethio Telecom signed a deal in July and August with China’s Huawei and ZTE to expand cellular infrastructure, but the government has ruled out liberalising its telecoms sector. Romeo Kumalo, the Vodacom International chief executive, said the firm would apply for a licence to provide value-added services – excluding standard voice calls – in the country. “More importantly we want to position ourselves for when… the government does decide to grant licences in the consumer sector,” he said. “We would invest here tomorrow. Ethiopia is probably the most fantastic telecoms market on the continent.” – Reuters

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