2013 a big year for telecoms in Morocco
Morocco is one of the most advanced telecommunications markets in Africa and often seen as a role model for future developments in other parts of the continent. It features a majority-privatised, highly profitable incumbent telco (Maroc Telecom, MT), three fixed and mobile network operators, as well as the highest penetration and some of the lowest prices on the continent for broadband Internet access.
The planned sale of a 53% stake in MT in 2013 is expected to fetch over US$7 billion, more than twice of what it was bought for around ten years ago. The fixed-line incumbent also operates the leading mobile network in Morocco as well as networks in three other African countries and an MVNO in Europe.
The fixed-line market has experienced a renaissance in Morocco following the launch of the countrys second and third network operators and fuelled by the growing demand for broadband services. Most of the new connections are wireless and increasingly converging with mobile services.
The Internet market was dominated by MT's ADSL broadband service which once held over 90% of the market. However, five years after their introduction, third-generation (3G) mobile broadband services had taken more than 80% of the broadband market by 2012. This trend is continuing in 2013, since the mobile networks reach a far greater percentage of the population than MT's copper fixed-line network. A ten-year National Broadband Plan has been launched, aiming to provide fixed or mobile broadband access to the entire population by 2022. Fourth generation (4G) LTE mobile licences will be issued in 2013.
At well over 100%, Morocco has one of the highest mobile market penetration rates in Africa. With all three major carriers being fixed as well as mobile network operators, the boundaries between fixed and mobile are beginning to disappear as technologies and services converge. Innovative new services have been introduced such as the first commercial IPTV service on the continent. To accommodate the increasing amount of voice and Internet traffic, fibre optic national backbone networks and international connectivity are being expanded. A new terabit international cable from Europe landed in the country in 2012.
Majority stake in Maroc Telecom up for sale;
4G/LTE licences to be issued in 2013;
New terabit international fibre optic cable lands;
One of Africas most advanced broadband markets;
3G mobile broadband captures more than 80% of the market;
National broadband plan 2012-2022.
Distribution of ADSL access in Morocco by speed - September 2012
Download speed | Market share
<4Mb/s | 1%
4Mb/s | 63%
8Mb/s | 20%
12Mb/s | 15%
20Mb/s | 1%
(Source: BuddeComm based on ANRT and company data)