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Morocco begins 4G licence process

Source : | 18 July 2012 |  News, Technology | 10582 views


(Reuters) – Morocco’s telecoms watchdog started preparations for its planned auction of at least one 4G licence by the end of the year, launching a tender on Tuesday to select an adviser for the process.

The Telecommunications Regulatory National Agency (ANRT) set an August 23 deadline for the submission of bids as Morocco continues its 10-year plan to provide high-speed Internet access for the whole population.

The selected adviser will help ANRT to set the terms and conditions of 4G licensing and to organise deployment of the technology. It will also assist in the decision on how many licences will be up for grabs in the tender, set for the fourth quarter.

ANRT officials told Reuters in May that it planned to award the licences at the start of 2013 and expects they will be operational by the end of that year at the earliest.

Morocco’s telecommunications market is dominated by Vivendi’s Maroc Telecom, France Telecom affiliate Medi Telecom, and Wana, owned by a holding company controlled by the Moroccan monarchy and Kuwait’s Zain .

While mobile penetration hovers around 110 percent of Morocco’s 33 million population, there were only 3.2 million subscribers to the Internet by the end of 2011, up 70 percent from the previous year.

(Reporting By Souhail Karam; Editing by David Goodman)

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