As part of the launch of operations in the country, Safaricom is constructing a prefabricated data center in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. Anwar Soussa, managing director of Safaricom Ethiopia, said the company's first data center has arrived in Addis and the company is working on its network rollout.
Pedro Rabacal, chief technology officer at Safaricom Ethiopia, said the facility started off in China and was built there before being delivered to the capital through boat. He added the company is investing around $300 million into the country in 2022 and more data centers will be rolled out as the network grows.
Safaricom plans to launch commercial services in Ethiopia and become the country's second telecoms provider as a result of the deployment. Until last year, Ethio Telecom held a monopoly over the sector. However, in May 2021 a consortium led by Kenya's Safaricom, Vodafone, and Japan's Sumitomo were awarded a license to operate in the country.
The consortium, which included development finance agency CDC Group plans to invest more than $8 billion in the country’s digital infrastructure. The telco will officially launch services in the coming months. The Government is also looking to sell off a stake in Ethio Telecom, with Orange reportedly being interested in bidding. It had also been looking to issue a license for a third operator to enter the country, but has since postponed the plans.
Ethio Telecom opened a new Huawei-made modular data center in Addis Ababa in May 2021, and Raxio break ground on a 3MW facility in Addis Ababa’s ICT Park; Wingu. Africa and RedFox are also emerging facilities in the same park.