Morocco to auction 4G licences in 2012: Report

Reuters, Saturday 19 May 2012

Autumn tender may clear the way for a fourth mobile operator

Morocco will launch a tender in the autumn to sell 4G licences in a move that may allow the entry of a fourth operator to the market, a business weekly reported on Friday citing the head of the industry's regulator.

"The [telecoms watchog] plans to launch an international tender for this purpose [4G licences] in fall, 2012," Azdine El-Mountassir Billah, head of the Telecommunication Regulatory National Agency (ANRT), said in remarks carried by La Vie Economique.
ANRT plans to award the licences at the start of 2013 and expects they will be operational by the end of that year at the earliest, he added.
An ANRT spokesperson could not immediately comment the report.
Morocco's telecommunications market is dominated by Vivendi's Maroc Telecom, France Telecom's affiliate Meditelecom and Wana, owned by a holding controlled by the Moroccan monarchy and Kuwait's Zain.
While mobile penetration hovers around 110 per cent of the 33 million population, Internet subscribers reached only 3.2 million by the end of 2011, rising 70 per cent from the previous year, ANRT data shows.
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