Morocco’s mobile market is one of the more mature in the region, with a penetration rate of 137.5 percent. The three mobile network operators – Maroc Telecom, Orange, and Inwi – offer fixed-line and fixed-wireless services. They have developed mobile data services based on the extensive reach of LTE infrastructure. Growth in mobile data traffic is supported by the popular use of smartphones, which account for about 80 percent of all mobile phones in use.
The three mobile operators are the main providers of internet services, accounting for the great majority of all internet connections. The issuing of LTE licenses in 2015 included conditions to ensure that services covered at least 65 percent of the population by 2020, while the promotion of broadband accessibility nationally is also supported by the National Broadband Plan through 2022 and by the Maroc Digital 2020 strategy. The extensive deployment of mobile broadband infrastructure will further consolidate the dominance of mobile players in the broadband sector in the coming years.
To establish itself as a leading hub in the field of digital technologies on the African continent, Morocco is encouraging foreign direct investment in the telecommunications sector, especially as it seeks to accelerate its whole-of-society digital transformation, promote new technologies, and develop telecommunications services. All three telecom operators have successfully completed their pilot tests for 5G and stand ready to deploy their own 5G networks in Morocco. The Government of Morocco is currently conducting international studies to better understand international safety and implementation standards and benchmarks before deploying Morocco’s 5G network. Morocco’s National Telecommunications Regulatory Agency (ANRT) expects to conduct its 5G spectrum auction in 2023 and each telecom operator is lining up equipment contracts now in anticipation of that auction. Several international technology companies have shown interest in Morocco’s evolving 5G landscape.
Morocco offers excellent opportunities for U.S. firms in the following segments:
- Host Services
- Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT)
- Virtualization technologies
- Cloud computing
- Big Data
- Data management and storage
- Broadband Connection
- Software as a Service (SaaS)
- Communication technologies
- Cyber security
Morocco’s mobile phone user penetration rate is above 100 percent (49.42 million mobile phone subscribers, out of a population estimated at 36 million people). Regarding the number of 4G mobile subscribers, a recent report from ANRT shows an increase of more than 30 percent to approximately 20.5 million.
Morocco closed 2020 with 29.8 million internet subscriptions and an internet penetration rate of 83 percent, up from 71 percent in 2019. Morocco’s mobile internet base is 27.7 million, representing 93 percent of the overall internet market. The country added 2.4 million mobile subscribers on net in 2019, and year-on-year growth rate in Morocco’s mobile internet connections accelerated to 11.2 percent from 2.2 percent in 2018.
Three operators share the 2G-4G telecoms market: Maroc Telecom (42.9 percent), Orange Maroc (33.2 percent), and Inwi (23.9 percent). The total income of these three companies represents more than 75 percent of total industry revenue.
5G: The three major telecoms operators are preparing for their transition to 5G, expected in 2023. For the next two years, they intend to invest in strengthening the coverage of mobile networks, the national backbones of telecommunications and infrastructure. Maroc Telecom has announced that it will invest $1 billion between 2019 and 2021. Morocco’s telecom service providers consider data management and security when reviewing proposals for equipment and services. The 5G market offers good opportunities for U.S. technology companies.
For more information on opportunities, please visit: https://www.anrt.ma/en/
Improving access to the internet forms one of the main goals of the Digital Morocco Plan 2020, which intends to use digitalization and stimulate ICT entrepreneurship to support broader national development. To pursue these objectives, the Moroccan government secured two loans from the World Bank one for $700 million in 2019 and another $500 million in June 2020. These loans will help the Moroccan government support the digital transformation of the economy. The Moroccan Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Investment, and Green and Digital Economy has stated that it plans to attract $1 billion of foreign investments to boost the ICT sector in Morocco.
For more information, please visit: https://www.add.gov.ma/category/feuille-de-route.
- National Agency of Regulation of Telecommunications (ANRT) at https://www.anrt.ma/en/
- Maroc Telecom Calls for tender: http://www.iam.ma/groupe-maroc-telecom/nous-connaitre/publications/appels-d-offres-iam.aspx
- Orange supplier registration: https://corporate.orange.ma/fournisseur
- INWI supplier registration: https://inwi.ma/corporate.