Telecoms & IT
From The Report: Morocco 2014
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Following rapid growth in SIM card sales and an even faster drop in tariffs, Moroccan telecoms operators seem to have entered at the tail end of the race for a market share of the voice segment. The number of mobile customers grew by 8.73% in 2013, reaching approximately 42.4m. This far exceeded the target set under the government’s “Digital Morocco 2013” strategy. Pre-paid customers dominate the local market with 95% of total subscriptions. The post-paid segment is also on the rise, seeing a growth rate of 14.38% year-on-year in 2013. The local telecoms market it dominated by three providers each with strengths in different segments as well as operations in North and West Africa. In March 2014, the government gave the green light for the ANRT to launch the 4G licensing process. Tendering is ongoing, with licences set to be issued by the end of the year and infrastructure migration to begin before 2015. As 4G licences are waiting to be awarded, mobile data is set to attract attention in 2014 and beyond, accelerating ongoing infrastructure investment plans and giving local content developers a boost. While IT has significant growth potential, it also faces a number of challenges. Morocco’s domestic IT sector is highly fragmented. As of year-end 2013, the industry was home to more than 200 service providers, most of which are small sized and operating at the local or regional level. The sector’s gross turnover in 2013 was estimated at Dh36bn (€3.2bn). Under the €460m Digital Morocco strategy, the government is targeting a number of goals related to SMEs, including upgrading IT infrastructure, growing cooperation with state-owned entities and increasing the share of IT investment from SMEs from 0.5% to 1%. This chapter contains interviews with Azdine El Mountassir Billah, Managing Director, National Telecommunications Regulatory Agency (ANRT), and Mohamed Horani, CEO, Hightech Payment Systems.