Morocco awards three 3G licences to domestic operators

24 Jul 2006

Morocco’s Maroc Télécom, Méditel and Maroc Connect have all won national 3G licences, beating Nejma Telecom Maroc, a subsidiary of Kuwait mobile firm Wataniya Telecom, in a tender. The choice of the three domestic operators was approved by Moroccan Prime Minister Driss Jettou on 20 July. Telecoms regulator ANRT issued a statement on 21 July saying: ‘The operators who already have licences… have a better knowledge of the Moroccan market. This makes their offers more coherent and realistic, and therefore more feasible.’ ANRT’s evaluation of the bids gave the first position to Maroc Connect, which won a fixed line licence last August. The country’s dominant fixed line and mobile operator Maroc Telecom was placed second, and its main rival Méditel, owned by Spain’s Telefónica and Portugal Telecom, was ranked third. Each licence costs MAD360 million (USD41.23 million). The regulator announced that the licence awards constitute the final stage of its 2004-08 telecoms liberalisation programme.