VENTURES AFRICA – Morocco’s telecoms watchdog, Telecommunications Regulatory National Agency (ANRT) has 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.
As contained in a report by Reuters, an August 23 deadline has been set by the ANRT for 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, and also assist in making decisions on how many licences will be made available for use in the tender, set for the fourth quarter.
ANRT officials said it planned to award the licences at the start of 2013 and expects they will be operational by the end of that year at least.
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 floats 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.