Telecom market review – Morocco 2008

Being so near to Spain, it’s strange to see how different the Moroccan telecom market is compared to the Spanish. Having met some key representatives there in the last month, we have updated our telecom market assessment up to end of 2008. As a result, we got the impression of what most of the people agrees: yet interesting market (that could be named emerging for any longer) but at the same difficult one. It gives me the impression that the market seems to be enjoying 3G Internet boom whilst experiencing a huge dispute for the client, something that sounds familiar to us in North Africa. Please find next some relevant insights of it as well as our market review.

Best regards from Africa, CVA.

The Moroccan telecommunications market continues to show strong signs of growth, with the numbers of 3G and home Internet users on the rise. We had an interesting meeting with the regulator and, according to them, the new 3G sector is taking a surprising share of Morocco’s telecom market

Growth in information and communications technology (ICT) in Morocco has been dominated by a boom in 3G Internet and the sustained growth of mobile telephone subscriptions, with a current market of more than 21.5 million customers. The number of fixed-line telephone customers has also grown, recently surpassing 2.7 million.

According to recent market indicators from the ANRT, Morocco has consolidated its growth trend in the ICT market. The numbers also show growth in the market for mobile and fixed telephony and the Internet to be sustainable. In real terms, Morocco now has more than 21.5 million customers in the mobile sector, equalling a 70% penetration rate. In terms of market share, Maroc Telecom provides roughly two-thirds of mobile coverage with 66.37% of the market, compared to 33.37% for competitor Médi Telecom.

The breakdown of mobile customers by subscription type, however, shows a market dominated by pre-paid users, with just 4% on contract. The wireless market looks set to continue its upward trend with the recent start-up of a mobile offer from a third national operator, Wana.

Where the internet is concerned, the kingdom now has more than 650,000 subscribers; this represents growth of 37% compared with June of last year. When market share is broken down, this shows the emergence of a new entrant – in this case, Wana – in the 3G internet sector with 18%, compared with 76% for Maroc Telecom and 4% for Médi Telecom.

Wana’s forceful entry into the 3G segment is explained by the launch of these new services in Morocco since April 2007. These services are characterised by their ease of use, offering the user an Internet connection with full mobility within the areas covered by the network, principally in the nation’s major cities.

Please find next our assessment on the market in a higer level of detail:

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