VENTURES AFRICA – Morocco’s Telecommunications Regulatory National Agency (ANRT), on Monday, disclosed plans to launch a tender to sell at least one 4G licence in the fourth quarter to help reach its 10-year goal of providing access to broadband services for the whole population.
According to insight provided by Reuters, the regulatory body is yet to decide how many licences would be up for grabs in the tender.
The ANRT said, “A study will be launched soon to fix the terms and conditions for 4G licensing … including the particular issue of the number of licences to be awarded”
The deployment of 4G technologies “is a flagship of the National Plan for High- and Very High-speed Internet that was recently adopted by ANRT’s board”, it added.
The Agency further commented that it aims to “generalize access to broadband telecommunication services for the entire population of the Kingdom within 10 years’ time.”
Last Friday, a local business weekly had quoted the head of ANRT as saying that the tender may allow the entry of a fourth operator to the market. Although, the agency refused to comment on that.
ANRT plans to award the licences at the start of 2013 and expects they will be operational by the end of that year at the earliest, it added.
Morocco’s telecommunications market is dominated by Vivendi’s Maroc Telecom, France Telecom affiliate Meditelecom, and Wana, owned by a holding company controlled by the Moroccan monarchy and Kuwait’s Zain.
ANRT data puts mobile penetration is the North African country around 110 per cent of the 33 million population, with internet subscribers listed as 3.2 million by the end of 2011, rising 70 per cent from the previous year.