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Ethio-telecom, the nation’s sole telecom provider, has entered into franchise agreements with three companies to open new service centers under its brand. The telecom monopoly will be paid a commission by the three companies.
“The franchise agreement comes into the picture to address areas the telecom can’t,” said Frehiwot Tamiru, the new CEO. “Building the new service centers will create more jobs,” she added.
Hedase Telecom took 82 shops around the country and 24 shops are ready for service. “We are waiting for the telecom to supply the furniture, network and train our staff,” said Gossaye Demise CEO of Hedase Telecom.
Hedasse Telecom, Ethiopian Postal Service, and Kifiya Financial Technologies were the pilot project partners for the franchised shops.
Bravocom Plc which was formerly the sole agent of NOKIA Mobile won one shop around Kazanchis. The company is waiting for the interior design and branding of the telecom before opening.
“The commission is not attractive for us because most shops are located in rural areas where there are few customers,” he said. “The agreements have no time limit but during the pilot project we would renew every two years.”
After testing the franchise for two years as a pilot project the first round franchise announcement was made for 94 shops last year. During the first week of January, 13 companies showed interest and 11 were deemed technically eligible.
Then, after evaluating proposals the telecom awarded the sites to three companies. They must either provide their own facility or rent a building from Ethio-telecom which will do the interior designing and branding.
The franchise will hire approximately 282 professionals.
The shops will provide similar services to the telecom. Customers should not be able to differentiate between the two.
Ethio telecom changed most of its top leaders last month including the CEO. The company is expected to sell its shares to international companies but the government will maintain a majority and offer a fraction to the public.