EEP, Safaricom Ethiopia sign dark fiber-optic leasing agreement

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The Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) and Safaricom Ethiopia Telecommunications PLC signed a five-year lease agreement to share dark fiber-optic on Thursday.

The agreement was signed between Asheber Balcha, CEO of the Ethiopia Electric Power and Anwar Soussa, CEO of Safaricom Ethiopia Telecommunications PLC.

The first phase of the agreement includes Safaricom Ethiopia leasing 4097 kilometers Optical Ground Wire (OPGW), with the option of the parties to agree second and third phases.

The second and third phases of OPGW lease agreements are expected to include 2078 and 2904 kilometers.

Over the course of few decades, EEP has built a network of OPGW cables along high voltage transmission lines. Optical Ground Wire is one of the most reliable fiber optic medium for the telecom service providers or other organizations who are involved in the transmission of one or more form of voice, data, video, text, messages, conferencing and telemetering. Considering it uses only a few of the core cables, EEP had set aside some of the optic-fibers for lease.

Asheber said on the agreement program, “Safaricom Ethiopia has come to the market using the opportunity the government of Ethiopia has put forth to liberalize the telecom sector.”

“This first of its kind collaboration will see not only power but telecommunications reach Ethiopians in all corners of the country,” he said.

He added: “The agreement we signed today to share our OPGW infrastructure will enable EEP to utilize its resources and increase its revenue, while enabling Safaricom Ethiopia to provide quality and competitive telecommunication services.”

As Safaricom Ethiopia continues to build its network in the country, it will lease the OPGW installed on EEP’s high voltage transmission that will be used as part of Safaricom’s network to provide national telecommunications services.

Safaricom CEO Anwar Soussa hailed the spirit of cooperation from EEP towards a win-win partnership and underscored the importance of this agreement. He further indicated, “Such infrastructure sharing agreements will enable us to fulfill our commitment to transform Ethiopian lives for a digital future and contributes to efforts being made to the phased operation launch.’’

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