Telecommunications in Morocco
The following is an outline of communications technology in Morocco.
While the Moroccan telecoms market remains under-saturated, its three mobile operators have experienced robust growth in recent years, both at home and abroad. Meditel, which received a mobile licence in 2000, is the kingdom's first private operator, holding 36.69% of the market. While the company performed strongly last year, registering a 17% growth in client base (to 7.4m) over the first three quarters of 2008, it began to falter as consumer spending slowed, resulting in a 1% annual increase in turnover for Q2 2009. Meditel's focus on lower-income markets impacted their average revenue per user, which fell by 16%, but the resulting expansion of the customer base helped drive up the country's mobile penetration rate from 65.7% in 2007 to 74% in 2008. Meditel's biggest competitor is Maroc Telecom, holding 60.71% of the market. A former state monopoly now controlled by French entertainment giant Vivendi, Maroc Telecom is one of the region's fastest-growing multinational telecoms operators, actively pursuing expansion across northwest Africa, including Gabon, Mauritania and Burkina Faso. MT has announced plans to create a fibre-optic network connecting the Moroccan cities Laâyoune and Dakhla to Nouadhibou, which would ultimately be extended to other North African countries.
Meditel and MT operated a duopoly until 2008, when the state regulator Agence Nationale de Réglementation des Télécommunications waved in Wana, owned by Morocco's Omnium Nord Africain. Though holding a tiny share (2.6%) of the voice market, this new player has captured a majority of the 3G market (69.11%). Total subscribers for this new technology increased 527% in 2008. Earlier this year, Wana sold a 31% stake for €228m to the partnership of two Kuwaiti companies, mobile operator Zain and Al Ajial Investment Fund Holding, to help finance the roll out of its 15-year 2G GSM network at the end of 2009. Moroccans pay a very high rate for Internet access but the connection is slower than dial-up. This is due to the fact that Moroccan consumers are not protected, nor do they know that Americans pay half the rate and receive high speed internet access.
- main lines in use: 2.394 million (2007) : estimation
- mobile cellular: 21 million (2007) : estimation
Domestic telephone system
Morocco has a good system composed of open-wire lines, cables, and microwave radio relay links. The internet is available but expensive. The principal switching centers are Casablanca and Rabat. The national network is nearly 100% digital using fiber-optic links. An improved rural service employs microwave radio relay.
International telephone system
The system has seven submarine cables, three satellite earth stations, two Intelsat (over the Atlantic Ocean) and one Arabsat. There is a microwave radio relay to Gibraltar, Spain and the Western Sahara. Coaxial cables and microwave radio relays exist to Algeria. Morocco is a participant in Medarabtel and a fiber-optic cable links from Agadir to Algeria and Tunisia.
- Television broadcast stations: 36 (plus 35 repeaters) (2007)
- Televisions receivers: 5.6 million (2007)
The country has more than 16,3 internet users in 2012. Operated by Maroc Telecom. The service started as a test in November 2002 before it was launched in October 2003 and it is one of the most technologically advanced Internet services in the African continent. The service is offered by the subsidiary Menara. It offers the following options:
- Menara ADSL 4 Mbit/s (around €10)
- Menara ADSL 8 Mbit/s (around €15)
- Menara ADSL2+ 12 Mbit/s (around €20)
- Menara ADSL2+ 20 Mbit/s (around €50)
Méditel offers 3G in 2 different options:
- Méditel 3G+ 7.2 Mbit/s (around €12)
- Méditel 3G+ 14.4 Mbit/s (around €20)
Similar to Méditel, Maroc Telecom 3G is offered in the same different speeds and almost the same prices.
INWI, formerly known as Wana offers 3G for MAD200 per month (€19) in its offer "Internet Mobile".
- Africa Internet Statistics