Morocco’s telco sector experiences strong growth during Covid-induced State of Emergency
Morocco possesses one of the most advanced telecommunications infrastructures in Africa.
This has helped it maintain service levels throughout the country’s long and arduous Covid-19 State of Emergency, which is expected to remain in place through to at least the end of October 2021.
The enforced lockdown across many of Morocco’s major centres has pushed up demand in all telecom segments – even for fixed-line telephone services, which grew by 15% in 2020. This runs counter to the downwards trend seen in most other parts of the world, although the growth in Morocco has largely been driven by the need for many consumers to be able to access a DSL broadband service to work or study from home during the lockdowns. At less than 1% penetration, fibre-based broadband is still at a nascent stage of development in Morocco.
Morocco’s mobile sector exhibits far more universal coverage, along with a competitive and balanced market across three mobile network operators. Penetration is already at 137%, partly a reflection of the preference for prepaid subscriptions (with more SIM cards likely being in circulation than are actually in use) and also the increasing popularity of dual-SIM handsets. Differentiated pricing for mobile voice and date versus mobile broadband also encourages many consumers to keep separate handsets for each purpose; more than 93% of the internet accesses in Morocco are through mobile networks.Key developments:
- World Bank’s Digital Inclusion Development Policy Financing (DPF) program providing a $500 million loan to help Morocco develop its digital transformation and improve economic and social inclusion.
- Morocco to have a landing point for the 8,700km Medusa cable system, running across the Mediterranean and expected to be lit in 2025.
- Maroc Telecom launches a new m-payment solution through its subsidiary MT Cash.
- Telecom regulator approves the use of the Wi-Fi 6E standard in the 6MHz range.
- Etisalat gains a majority stake in Maroc Telecom after acquiring the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development’s shares, paying $505 million.
- Orange Morocco acquires data centre provider EtixEverywhere’s Moroccan business, including a Tier III data centre in Casablanca.
- Report update includes ITU’s data for 2020, updated Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, regulator’s market data to Q3 2021, operator data to Q1 2022, recent market developments.
Companies mentioned in this report:
- Maroc Telecom / Itissalatt Al-Maghrib (IAM), Orange Morocco, Inwi