Morocco leading the way in North Africa – R&M

Morocco leading the way in North Africa – R&M

Morocco has developed one of the most advanced telecommunications markets in Africa, reports Research & Markets.

Key initiatives in Morocco include the government's Maroc Digital 2020 strategy to encourage the development of a digital economy, and the National Broadband Plan which aims to provide fixed or mobile broadband access to the entire population by 2022. A new amendment to the Telecommunications Act aims to provide greater powers to the regulator.

The part-privatised incumbent telco Maroc Telecom remains the dominant player in the fixed-line sector though has effective competition in the mobile sector. A key regional player, Orange Group, entered the market through the acquisition of a major stake in the telco Mdi Telecom. Inwi and Maroc Telecom have begun trialling 5G technologies.

Morocco's fixed-line broadband market is dominated by Maroc Telecom. Despite regulatory efforts to enforce LLU and wholesale pricing, there is little in the way of access to its networks and as a result, the fixed-line broadband market has not developed to its potential. Nevertheless, a small number of operators, including Inwi and Orange Morocco, have begun to offer competing DSL services, albeit limited in reach.

Despite these market limitations and Maroc Telecom's near-monopoly, Morocco has developed some of the lowest broadband prices and highest penetration rates in Africa. This has been helped by the excellent connectivity to international fibre cables, including the recent launch of a new cable connecting Mali and Morocco.

The introduction and extension of mobile broadband services have gone far towards improving access nationally. Mobile internet by mid-2019 accounted for 93.2% of all internet connections, leaving Maroc Telecom's DSL service with most of the remainder. The dominance of mobile internet access is likely to continue given the improvements in LTE reach and capabilities, and the preference among consumers to adopt mobile solutions for both voice and data.

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