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Morocco: Five new telecommunications licenses awarded by the government

At the end of the Council of Government held October 22, 2015 under the chairmanship of Head of Government Abdelilah Benkirane, it appears that the three types of telecom licenses by satellite, the call for competition was launched on 16 March 2015 by the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (ANRT) of Morocco, were sold.
For Vsat license (Very Small Aperture Terminal) satellite to the Internet, successful bidders are: incumbent telecommunications operator “Ittisalat Al Maghrib SA”, better known under the name of Morocco Telecom, and the Development Corporation Green Development (SAMV) and the mobile operator “Wana Corporate SA” better known under the name of Inwi.
The Minister of Communication, government spokesman, Mustapha El Khalfi (photo) explained that the specifications establish the validity of these licenses to 10 years renewable for periods not exceeding five years each. Morocco Telecom, and SAMV Inwi have an obligation to market VSAT services within a maximum period of 12 months from the entry into force of licenses against the sum of 19 million dirhams ($ 1.94 million) out taxes.
In terms of the establishment license and operation of a radio telecommunications network shared resources (3RP), it was awarded to the company “Telecom SA waxes” and SAMV. The specifications set the period of validity of licenses to 10 years renewable for periods not exceeding five years each. Attribute companies are required to market 3RP type services within a maximum period of 12 months from the entry into force of licenses against the sum of 600,000 dirhams (61,260 dollars) excluding tax.
The five draft decrees formalizing the allocation of these new satellite telecom licenses are in preparation. No licenses have been granted for the technology GMPCS (Global mobile personal communications system), mobile telephony by satellite.

Source: EcoFin

Morocco: Morocco Telecom resists again to publish its offer for unbundling

A new round just adds to qu’entretient the incumbent telecommunications showdown Morocco Telecom with the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (ANRT) regarding the unbundling of the fiber loop . The deadline of 15 October 2015 which had been granted by the telecom regulator to publish its wholesale offer of access to this competition telecom infrastructure is largely exceeded. Morocco Telecom has once again, through this umpteenth violation of an injunction of the ANRT, expressed its opposition to the unbundling of the fiber imposed by the telecom regulator.

It is since January 2015 that the ANRT battle, we can say, with the incumbent telecommunications operator in that enables mobile operators to access the optical fiber. Through this access, the telecom regulator would generate a healthy and free competition of the national telecom sector by giving all players the same chance. The incumbent rents access to fiber optic infrastructure to mobile operators, the latter who have more then to spend heavy sums for installing their own fiber optic network that will also take time, can while providing quality services to subscribers raised, major beneficiaries of this competition.

But in Morocco, Morocco Telecom would not hear it that way. During the presentation of the group’s financial results February 23, 2015, Abdeslam Ahizoune, chief executive of the company, had deemed harmful unbundling investment that the country still needs to enhance its infrastructure. Refusing Meditel, a subsidiary of Orange, and Inwi advantage of the network wide fiber optic network in which Morocco Telecom has invested over the years, Abdeslam Ahizoune unveiled his annoyance when he stated that “Orange is investing heavily in infrastructure in France. It would be nice to do the same in Morocco. When one is a giant like Orange, it must contribute to the investment in the country where it operates. ”

Source: EcoFin

Morocco: Morocco Telecom sum ANRT published its offer for unbundled before mid-October

The National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (ANRT) has released its vis-à-vis wait-Morocco Telecom. Indeed, the telecom regulator has summoned the incumbent telecommunications operator to publish by mid-October 2015 the wholesale offer for competitive access to its local loop from which it can deliver voice telecommunications services and Data (Bitstream). Morocco Telecom will also submit for the consideration and approval of the ANRT, by the end of November 2015, additional benefits, for enriching said wholesale offer, especially technically.

It is since January 2015 that the telecom regulator has forced Morocco Telecom to publish its total deals on unbundling. The first proposals of the incumbent, issued just days after the injunction of the ANRT, had not met the expectations of the ANRT, which had demanded a review of the unbundling arrangements proposed by Morocco Telecom at the 20 January 2015. Since then, nothing. It has been eight months. It must be said that with the imminent introduction of 4G folder in the country, one of unbundling; which aroused great dissatisfaction of Abdeslam Ahizoune, the CEO of Morocco Telecom; rose to second place.

But the news surrounding this essential for a free and full competition in the domestic telecom sector in Morocco was boosted by Michel Paulin, the CEO of Meditel. In an interview with the Media24 news website during the month of September, he complained of the delay in unbundling.

Source: EcoFin

Morocco: Maroc Telecom 1H15 top-line boosted by Moov consolidation

Maroc Telecom has reported consolidated revenues of MAD16.583 billion (USD1.670 billion) for the six-month period ended 30 June 2015, up 13.9% on an annualised basis, chiefly due to the consolidation of the six Moov-branded units into its results. As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, the acquisition of the companies – from Maroc Telecom’s controlling shareholder Etisalat – closed on 26 January this year.
However, 1H15 revenues remained stable on a like-for-like basis, with a 2.0% decline in sales in Morocco being offset by a 5.3% increase in turnover at Maroc’s international subsidiaries. EBITDA for H1 2015 amounted to MAD8.413 billion, up 4.7% year-on-year, but down 0.8% on a like-for-like basis. Meanwhile, net income for the first six months of this year was down 8.0% compared to the first half of 2014, owing to the business decline in Morocco and costs related to the acquisition of new subsidiaries – despite the increased contribution of the new African subsidiaries, which improved 12.4% on a like-for-like basis.
In operational terms, Maroc Telecom reported a consolidated customer base of almost 51 million at 30 June 2015, up 32% y-o-y following the consolidation. Maroc Telecom’s domestic mobile unit contributed the lion’s share of the subscriber total meanwhile, reporting 18.08 million users as of mid-2015.
Abdeslam Ahizoune, chairman of Maroc Telecom’s management board, commented: ‘Maroc Telecom Group confirmed its solid results, again demonstrating its ability to withstand attempts leading to value destruction against a backdrop of fierce competition … The successful operational consolidation of its new subsidiaries is supported by the launch of a major network densification and modernisation programme to encourage profitable, sustainable and robust growth’.

Source: TeleGeography

Morocco: Morocco Telecom and Meditel supplants Inwi directly announcing 4G + from July 13, 2015

After Inwi Meditel and is now the turn of subscribers Morocco Telecom to take advantage of 4G. The incumbent telecommunications operator announced the launch of this technology on July 13, 2015. Although the latest country to launch 4G, Morocco Telecom does not seem too concerned about the lead that took Meditel and Inwi in this segment . The business is contrary confident about the overthrow of steam. And for that, she says she his sleeve an asset of choice: + 4G.

While the two minors operators launched 4G, Morocco Telecom talking about 4G +. A faster 4G network with speeds up to 225 Mbps. One of the main criteria of consumer decision in choosing an Internet service provider is the speed of its connection, Morocco Telecom is sure to satisfy its customers and win new ones in the competitors.

According Morocco Telecom to deploy its 4G + aims ” cover all provinces of the seat cities as well as highways and railways and major roads . ” Unlike its competitors, Telecom Morocco does not intend to compel subscribers to change SIM card to access mobile broadband, they will only develop compatible 4G terminals.

The long-awaited 4G by Moroccans is finally a reality. After four years of waiting, things have finally moved. For the economy, it is a bright day in perspective, because according to reports from Ericsson, GSMA and several other telecom institutions, people’s access to high speed has a significant impact on the innovation, entrepreneurial dynamism, GDP.

Source: EcoFin

Morocco: Inwi 4G launches June 17, 2015, directly to 21 cities

The mobile operator Inwi announced it will launch its 4G Wednesday, June 17, 2015, the eve of Ramadan. The telecom company wishing to strike a blow by making the network directly accessible everywhere, decided to make the outset available in 21 cities, as well as on the highway Rabat and Casablanca-Mohammed Airport V.

The cities where the 4G network will be available from June 17, 2015 are: Casablanca, Fez, Rabat, Salé and Temara, Marrakech, Agadir, Tangier, Mahommedia, Meknes, Kenitra, El Jadida, Tetouan, Martil and Coast, Oujda, Nador , Saffi, Setat, Berechid, Khouribga, Beni Mellal, Taroudant, Berkane, Skhirate, Dar Bouazza, Laayoune. To enjoy the 4G Inwi, subscribers will have to hold a device compatible with the new technology and gain 4G SIM card.

Inwi says its 4G commercial offer will be free. Free in the sense that it will be only the data consumption will pay off. There will be no price difference depending on whether one makes use of 3G or 4G for calls or SMS.

Source: EcoFin

Morocco: Meditel launches free LTE services in Casablanca

Moroccan telecoms operator Medi Telecom (Meditel), an affiliate of Paris-based Orange Group, has launched free 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) services in Casablanca, following the award of its 4G concession in March 2015, Morocco World News reports. In order to use the 4G broadband service, potential subscribers need to acquire a new SIM card for MAD30 (USD3.07) and have a compatible device (smartphone, tablet, modem or router). Going forward, the LTE network is scheduled to be launched in Rabat on 15 June, with other major cities to follow by the end of summer. Meanwhile, Meditel’s rivals Itissalat Al Maghrib (IAM, Maroc Telecom) and Inwi (Wana) are also planning to introduce their respective 4G services ‘soon’.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in mid-March 2015 the Agence Nationale de Reglementation de Telecom (ANRT) awarded three 20-year LTE licences to the country’s mobile operators. Maroc Telecom, majority owned by United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based Etisalat, paid MAD1 billion for frequencies in the 800MHz (to be allocated in two stages), 1800MHz and 2.6GHz bands, Meditel paid MAD500.437 million, while Wana paid MAD503.000 million. The operators are required to establish and operate 4G networks covering 65% of the Moroccan population within five years from the date of licence authorisations, and must provide minimum average download speed of 2Mbps for 90% of the population.

Source: TeleGeography

Egypt, Morocco: Orange to adjust investments

Telecoms operator Orange aims to sell shares in its Egyptian unit Mobinil to bring in new investors and increase its stake in its Moroccan subsidiary, as part of expansion plans in North Africa, its CEO said on Wednesday.
Chief executive Stephane Richard sees Africa and the Middle East as key to the French company’s growth, especially since it sold its mobile operations in Britain and Switzerland.
Unlike its European businesses, Orange’s revenues in Africa and the Middle East are growing as more people switch to smartphones.
Richard said Egyptian mobile telecoms operator Mobinil, which is 99% owned by Orange, would offer 10 to 15% of its shares on the Cairo bourse or sell a stake to a local partner in 2016.

“The intention for us is to reduce our ownership in Mobinil to make some room available for new shareholders, new partners – Egyptian partners either using the listing of the company so going to the market or welcoming strategic shareholders,” Richard told Reuters at an event in Cairo.
Mobinil, which is already listed, said in March it would seek a capital increase by the end of 2015 but did not specify a value at the time.
Richard also said in translated remarks that Orange would increase its stake in its Moroccan subsidiary to 49% from 40% as soon as possible. Orange currently owns a 40% stake in Medi Telecom (Meditel).
The CEO’s strategy has been to create a separate unit to regroup the African and Middle Eastern operations to make them more visible to investors and to run them more efficiently.
Orange said late last year that this could be a first step towards a flotation of the business but it recently said no decision has been made on that yet.
Orange has about 100 million subscribers in Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Senegal and Mali among other countries, and they brought in nearly 10% of group sales last year. Their revenues rose by 7% to reach 4.29 billion euro on operating profit of 1.4 billion euros.
Richard said Tunisia was another market where it could expand.
“I’m thinking of Tunisia. I’m thinking of Morocco, for instance. So there is an organic growth which is still an engine for us,” he said. “We will try to be very active including in terms of M&A to expand our footprint in Africa.”

Source; IT Web Africa

Morocco: Méditel will invest $ 702 million for the 5 coming years, largely for 4G

This year, the mobile operator Meditel, a subsidiary of Orange , account balance its network equipment renewal program launched in 2013. The work cost him $ 4 billion Moroccan dirhams (401 million). This was in anticipation of the acquisition of 4G license was granted, like other operators, 18 March 2015. For the next five years is 7 billion dirhams ($ 702 million) as Telecom company plans to invest in its network.

Much of this money will be for the operationalization of its 4G license and deployment of high speed broadband across the country. Guest Club The Economist , an exchange framework created by the Moroccan newspaper, Michel Paulin, CEO of the company explained that he would ” invest in urban and suburban areas to have a backbone, d a network able to sell more traffic. At the end of this year, all of our networks will be compatible with 4G . ” The commercialization of the first 4G offers is scheduled for the first quarter of 2016, says Michel Paulin.

In view of the innovative services that 4G will bring to the market, Meditel, to boost the consumption of Data on its network, plans to offer consumers cheap compatible devices.

The company is in talks with Apple , Samsung , Huawei and some local manufacturers. ” We try to find agreement to promote these terminals (Samrtphones Editor’s note) in order to make them accessible to the consumer, but also to the company , “said the CEO of Meditel.

Source: EcoFin

Morocco: Morocco Telecom, Meditel and Inwi clinched 4G license

The incumbent Morocco Telecom and mobile operators Meditel and Inwi come to get their 4G license of the national telecommunications regulatory authority (ANRT). The telecoms regulator has conducted March 12, 2015 at the opening of their respective folder approved their different offers. Approval resulting satisfaction by these operators all expectations ANRT and even beyond.

According to the telecom regulator, ” the taken commitments in terms of coverage after the first five years of the licenses, are higher than the minimum required as part of the call for competition; the proposed service quality indicators are aligned with international best practices; market vision and business plan proposed by bidders will contribute to the development of the market and high mobile broadband in Morocco . ” March 18, 2015, Abdelilah Benkirane, the head of government, has approved the investigation report on the allocation of licenses and developed by the ANRT.

Morocco Telecom will pay 1 billion dirhams (99.8 million dollars) for its license, 500.437 million dirhams (49,943,612 dollars) for Meditel and 503 000 000 (50 199 400 dollar) for Inwi. In addition to the license fee, the three telecom operators will also contribute to the cost of the redevelopment of the frequency spectrum of up to 860.4 million dirhams (85,867,920 dollars).

Source: EcoFin

Morocco: All three Moroccan cellcos apply for LTE concessions

Moroccan telecoms regulator, the Agence Nationale de Reglementation de Telecom (ANRT), has announced that the country’s three mobile operators – Itissalat Al Maghrib (IAM, Maroc Telecom), Inwi (Wana) and Medi Telecom (Meditel) – have all submitted their bids for 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile licences. The watchdog disclosed that the submitted applications will now be assessed on the basis of the operators’ commitments in terms of infrastructure deployment, coverage, Quality of Service (QoS), consistency of business plan, proposed strategy and financial offer.
As previously noted by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, the ANRT began preparing for the 4G licensing process in 2012 by launching a tender to select an adviser for the process. The watchdog set a deadline of 23 August 2012 for the submission of bids, and the winner’s main responsibility was outlined as assisting ANRT with the setting of terms and conditions, including deciding on how many concessions are to be made available.
The regulator initially planned to award 4G licences at the start of 2013 with commercial launches following by the end of that year at the latest, although the tender was subsequently postponed on several occasions. The LTE auction process was finally initiated on 17 November 2014, just days after incumbent operator Maroc Telecom achieved maximum download speeds of 140Mbps over a trial 4G network in Rabat. The bid deadline was subsequently pushed back with two weeks to 12 March 2015.

Source: TeleGeography

Morocco: number of mobile lines up, prices down in Communications

The National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (ANRT) of Morocco has released figures on the state of the national telecoms market at the end of 2014. It appears that the number of mobile lines increased by 4%, the price of calls has dropped. With a mobile penetration rate of 133%, the country therefore has currently 44.1 million subscribers. The average bill per customer declined by 22% in terms of voice communications. The average bill for the internet was down 36% and from 36 dirhams end 2013 to 23 dirhams late 2014.

Morocco Telecom still retains the leading operator instead. The incumbent telecommunications operator has the highest market share in terms of active lines, even if it is slightly down: from 42.8% in 2013 to 41.32% in 2014.

Meditel, a subsidiary of French telecom group Orange , for his part consolidated its second position with 30.81% active line. In 2013, its market share was 29.2%. The company has nibbled the subscriber park of its competitors since the number of active lines declined significantly.

Inwi, Tom Thumb of the market to which the telecom regulator awarded the highest quality of service in its study on services, recorded 27.87%. But in 2013, the figure was 27.97%.

Mobile market segment, Morocco Telecom assumes 40.29% of active lines in the prepaid accounting for nearly 95% of the offer. Meditel holds 30.95% while qu’Inwi lines was 28.76%. In the postpaid (subscriptions) Morocco Telecom shows 59.92% of market share, 28.34% and 11.74% for Meditel for Inwi.

Source: EcoFin

Morroco: ANRT extends LTE auction deadline to 12 March

Moroccan telecoms watchdog, the Agence Nationale de Reglementation de Telecom (ANRT), has announced that the deadline for submission of bids for the country’s belated auction for 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile licences will be extended by two weeks to 12 March 2015.
As previously noted by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, the ANRT began preparing for the 4G licensing process in 2012 by launching a tender to select an adviser for the process. The watchdog set a deadline of 23 August 2012 for the submission of bids, and the winner’s main responsibility was outlined as assisting ANRT with the setting of terms and conditions, including deciding on how many concessions are to be made available.
The regulator initially planned to award 4G licences at the start of 2013 with commercial launches following by the end of that year at the latest, although the tender was subsequently postponed on several occasions. The LTE auction process was finally initiated on 17 November 2014, just days after incumbent operator Maroc Telecom, which was authorised to trial LTE technology in Rabat, achieved maximum download speeds of 140Mbps over its 4G test network.

Source: TeleGeography

Morocco: Veiled feud between Morocco and the National Telecom Telecom Regulatory Authority

During the past weekend, a funny exchange of words took place between the telecommunications incumbent Telecom Morocco and the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (ANRT). The veiled feud was on coercion made ​​by Morocco Telecom Telecom regulator offer unbundled to allow competitors and Méditel Inwi access to its fiber infrastructure. In a statement released Jan. 16, 2015, Morocco Telecom has qualified both decisions for this purpose by the ANRT as ” bizarre , “adding that they are the best way to jeopardize the development of the national telecommunications sector in carrying affect the quality of service.

Responding to Morocco Telecom in Les Ecos January 19, 2015, a source in the ANRT quoted by the daily says that ” before taking any decision, ANRT into account its impact on each segment of the telecoms market (…) the opening of infrastructure and unbundling of the local loop (…) will have positive impacts on the market by allowing one hand the optimization of investments and secondly, the opening of some segments of the market to competition . ”

For the ANRT, infrastructure sharing between Morocco Telecom and other operators is the best way to prevent the Moroccan economy bears the cost of technical installations must Inwi Meditel and deploy their own. In addition, access to Morocco Telecom infrastructure is not free, competitors pay him a share corresponding to the use of its network and the rapid spread of broadband will quickly induced effect on improving of the economy. ANRT believes that the fears of Morocco Telecom for the telecom market are not justified and considers that the operator would simply keep the ADSL market monopoly as has long been in the past.

Source: EcoFin

Morocco: ANRT to launch 4G auction on 17 November

Moroccan telecoms watchdog, the Agence Nationale de Reglementation de Telecom (ANRT), has announced that the country’s long-anticipated auction for 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile licences will be launched on 17 November 2014.
The ANRT began preparing for the 4G licensing process in 2012 by launching a tender to select an adviser for the process. The watchdog set a deadline of 23 August 2012 for the submission of bids, and the winner’s main responsibility was outlined as assisting ANRT with the setting of terms and conditions, including deciding on how many concessions are to be made available.
The regulator initially planned to award 4G licences at the start of 2013 with commercial launches following by the end of that year at the latest, although the tender has since been postponed on several occasions. Last week incumbent operator Maroc Telecom, which was authorised to trial LTE technology in Rabat, achieved maximum download speeds of 140Mbps over its test network.

Source: Telegeography

Morocco: Maroc Telecom sees sales growth improve to 4.3% in Q3

Maroc Telecom Group has seen a 4.3 percent increase in its third-quarter revenue to MAD 7.3 billion, which has been anchored by strong growth in international activities and a return to growth in Morocco.

According to Telecompaper, the home market benefited from higher consumption in the mobile segment as well as successful data offers in the fixed-line segment.

For the nine months ending 30 September, Maroc Telecom revealed that revenues of MAD 21.86 billion, were up 1.9 percent over the same period of last year. This, according to the company, includes 11.5 percent growth in revenues from international activities and a decline of 1.1 percent in the activities in Morocco.

Growth in the group’s customer base reached an annual rate of 10 percent, to 39.5 million customers at 30 September. This was mainly due to growth of 21 percent in the international customer base. Nine-month EBITDA reached MAD 12.01 billion, a decline of 3.0 percent compared to last year, hurt by a reduction of 5.9 percent in EBITDA in Morocco, partially offset by the 6.2 percent rise in EBITDA from subsidiaries. The EBITDA margin fell by 2.8 points to 54.9 percent.

The operator maintained its outlook for a small decline in EBITDA this year and a modest increase in capital expenditure. Operating cash flow in the first nine months was up 2.0 percent from a year ago to MAD 7.77 billion.

According to RTTnews.com, Abdeslam Ahizoune, Chairman of the Management Board, stated, “The return to revenues’ growth in Morocco is the prominent feature of the results of the third quarter. This reversal of trend is due to our firm policy of innovation and abundance of offerings and a continuous effort to improve the quality of our services. This performance coupled with the rapid growth in our subsidiaries has led to an acceleration in the group’s growth rate.”

Source: IT News Africa

Morocco : Maroc Telecom accused of blocking VoIP applications

Maroc Telecom subscribers have reportedly complained about not being able to access voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP) applications, namely Viber, for the last two weeks, prompting speculation that the operator has blocked free VoIP operations yet again. Agence Ecofin notes that the service is still accessible over Inwi and Meditel’s respective networks.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in February 2012 it emerged that Maroc Telecom was reportedly blocking access to a number of VoIP applications, with free VoIP services such as Skype and TeamSpeak seeing their access cut.

Source: TeleGeography

Morocco: Maroc Telecom to offer FTTH to subscribers following ANRTapproval

Maroc Telecom, the country’s incumbent telecoms provider, has reportedly been authorised by the Autorite de Regulation de la Poste et des Telecoms (ARPT) to provide commercial fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) services, Agence Ecofin reports. The development was announced by Abdeslam Ahizoune, the company’s CEO, during a presentation of the operator’s interim results; however, the executive pointed out that the date for the introduction of the service has not yet been set. Further, Mr Ahizoune revealed that Maroc Telecom has had the capability to deliver high speed fibre optic broadband access to subscribers for some time and that regulatory hurdles could be blamed for the delayed launch.

Source: TeleGeography

Maroc Telecom sees marginal improvement in its domestic operations in 1H14

Maroc Telecom, the country’s leading telco in terms of subscribers, has published its financial results for the six months ended 30 June 2014, reporting a marginal 0.7% annual increase in revenues, from MAD14.468 billion (USD1.746 billion) to MAD14.564 billion. The improvement was chiefly attributed to 10.9% annual growth among the company’s international operations, which partly offset a 2.4% sales decrease in its domestic market during the same period. Meanwhile, Maroc Telecom’s EBITDA decreased by 4.4% in the period under review, to MAD8.034 billion; the slump was attributed to a 7% decline in the Moroccan unit’s EBITDA, although this was partly compensated by a 4.1% increase in EBITDA from the company’s international operations. Maroc Telecom’s net income in the period under review reached MAD3.073 billion, a 12.7% decrease on the MAD3.521 billion income reported in 1H13.

In operational terms, Maroc Telecom reported annualised growth of 9.2% for its consolidated customer base, with the total number of customers passing the 38 million-mark at end-June 2014. In Morocco, wireless customers increased by 0.6% year-on-year to reach 18.163 million, up from 18.049 million in 1H13; the telco’s wireline customer base grew by 9.0% to 1.444 million users, while broadband customers increased by 22.3% y-o-y to 923,000. In Mauritania, wireless numbers decreased by 6.1% to 1.877 million users, due to intense competition in the market, while broadband subscriptions increased by 3.4% to 8,000. In Burkina Faso, the Office Nationale des Telecommunications (Onatel, incl. Telmob) saw its mobile subscribers increase by 27% y-o-y to reach 5.394 million by 30 June, although its broadband customer base declined by 34.2% to around 18,000. Further, Gabon Telecom reported a 16.6% increase in its number of its mobile users, to 1.083 million, while Mali-based operator Societe des Telecommunications du Mali (SOTELMA) increased its mobile subscriber numbers 21.8% to 9.164 million in 1H14, with more than one and a half million net additions in the period under review.

Going forward, the group will expand the scope of its international operations with six new markets, following the signing of a USD650 million agreement with its new major shareholder Etisalat in May this year. The deal involves the acquisition of the UAE telco’s subsidiaries in Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon, Niger, the Central African Republic and Togo; the deal also includes Prestige Telecom, which provides IT services for Etisalat’s subsidiaries in those countries. The agreement is subject to approval from the relevant authorities and Maroc Telecom anticipates that it should be closed by Q3 2014. Further, the operator expects that the accelerated international diversification will result in 40% increase in group revenues.

Abdeslam Ahizoune, chairman of the management board, stated: ‘Maroc Telecom Group confirms the return to revenue growth, with the rise in traffic driven by our operating performances and by the quality of our offers. Our customers communicate more and more inspired by our innovations and secured with the quality of our networks. Despite a challenging regulatory environment, the group continues its proactive policy of modernising networks through the deployment of ultra high speed fixed line and mobile services. The agreement concluded with Etisalat to acquire its activities in six countries with high-potential markets allows Maroc Telecom Group to pass a new milestone in its development in sub-Saharan Africa.’

Source: TeleGeography

Morocco: ANRT establishes new full unbundling rules

Moroccan telecoms regulator, the Agence Nationale de Reglementation de Telecom (ANRT), has published a decision dated 17 June 2014, which establishes the rules governing local loop unbundling (LLU) in Morocco. The regulator is looking to level the playing field in the market, which is currently 99.5% dominated by incumbent fixed line operator Maroc Telecom. Under the new regulations, Maroc Telecom is required to provide colocation for third-party operators’ equipment in its existing cabinets, install multi-operator cabinets for part of their future nodes and establish an active wholesale offer for third-party operators under a virtual unbundled local access (VULA) model. Further, the ANRT has given the former monopoly operator a deadline of 1 August to provide a wholesale offer to domestic alternative operators Meditel and Inwi, and to provide a technical and tariff wholesale offer for passive access to its fixed local loop.

Source: TeleGeography

Morocco: Etisalat offers to buy out Maroc Telecom’s minority shareholding

UAE-based Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat), which agreed to acquire Vivendi’s controlling 53% stake in Moroccan incumbent telco Maroc Telecom last week, has submitted a mandatory tender offer to buy out the remaining minority shareholders in the North African firm. According to a press release, the bid currently awaits approval from the Moroccan Capital Market Authority. The company did not, however, reveal the price per share it proposed; under bourse rules, companies do not need to offer minority shareholders the same price per share they paid in the majority shareholder acquisition. The Kingdom of Morocco is the second largest shareholder in the Moroccan operator with a 30% stake, while 17% of the company is publicly floated.

As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, last week Etisalat completed the acquisition of French media group Vivendi’s 53% shareholding in Maroc Telecom, via its indirect subsidiary Etisalat International North Africa (EINA), for a final consideration of EUR4.138 billion (USD5.675 billion). Etisalat holds 91.3% of EINA’s capital, while the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development owns the remaining 8.7% stake. The consolidation of Maroc Telecom and its subsidiaries will start in earnest this month.

Source: TeleGeography

Morocco: Etisalat completes acquisition of Maroc Telecom

UAE-based Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat) has completed the acquisition of French media group Vivendi’s 53% shareholding in Maroc Telecom, via its indirect subsidiary Etisalat International North Africa (EINA), for a final consideration of EUR4.138 billion (USD5.675 billion). Etisalat holds 91.3% of EINA’s capital, while the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development owns the remaining 8.7% stake. The consolidation of Maroc Telecom and its subsidiaries will start in earnest this month.
As per Moroccan stock market regulations, a company must file a tender offer to obtain the remaining shares in a company when a legal entity acquires more than 40% of the voting rights. As such, Etisalat notes that it will file its tender offer documentation with the Moroccan Capital Market Authority within the prescribed time period.
In addition to the 2012 dividends (MAD7.4 [USD0.9] per share) already distributed in 2013, Etisalat is also entitled to receive a MAD6.0 per share dividend for the 2013, which will be distributed by Maroc Telecom in June 2014. The total amount of dividend pay-outs for 2012 and 2013 amounts to MAD6.2 billion; Etisalat is now in line to receive MAD5.7 billion of the total.

Source: TeleGeography

Morocco: Vivendi to finalise Maroc Telecom sale on 14 May

French media group Vivendi has announced that all of the conditions relating to the sale of its 53% stake in Maroc Telecom to UAE-based Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat) have now been fulfilled, and that the transaction will close on 14 May.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in July 2013 Vivendi entered into exclusive negotiations with Etisalat for the sale of Morocco’s leading telco. Vivendi Universal holds 53% of Maroc Telecom via its wholly owned subsidiary Societe de Participation dans les Telecommunications. The two companies signed a definitive agreement for the sale of the controlling stake in November 2013, with the deal valued at EUR4.2 billion (USD5.67 billion).

Source: TeleGeogragpy

Burkina Faso, Gabon, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco: Maroc Telecom 1Q14 revenues up 0.4% to USD887m

Maroc Telecom, a subsidiary of French media group Vivendi, has published its financial results for the first quarter of 2014, reporting a marginal 0.4% annual increase in revenues, from MAD7.180 billion (USD874.18 million) to MAD7.206 billion. The improvement was attributed to 12.3% annual growth among the company’s international operations, which partly offset a 3.4% sales decrease in its domestic market during the same period. Maroc Telecom’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) meanwhile decreased by 6.8% in the period under review, to MAD3.942 billion; the slump was attributed to an 11% decline in EBITDA in Morocco.
In operational terms, Maroc Telecom reported annualised growth of 16.5% for its consolidated customer base, with the total number of customers passing the 39 million mark at end-March 2014. In Morocco, wireless customers increased by 2.6% year-on-year to 18.327 million, up from 17.871 million in 1Q13; the telco’s wireline customer base grew by 9.2% to 1.418 million users, while broadband customers increased by 22.7% y-o-y to 888,000. In Mauritania, wireless numbers decreased by 8.1% to 1.863 million users, due to intense competition in the market, while broadband subscriptions increased by 10.0% to 7,500. In Burkina Faso, the Office Nationale des Telecommunications (Onatel, incl. Telmob) saw its wireless subscribers increase by 23.8% y-o-y to pass the five million user milestone by 31 March, although its broadband customer base declined by 22.1% to around 24,000. Further, Gabon Telecom reported a 26.0% increase in the number of its mobile users to 1.039 million, while Mali-based operator Societe des Telecommunications du Mali (SOTELMA) increased its mobile subscriber numbers 58.1% to 10.283 million in 1Q14, with more than four million net additions in the period under review.
Abdeslam Ahizoune, chairman of Maroc Telecom’s management board, stated: ‘As a result of the constant adaptation of our strategy to the latest innovations in technology and services, Maroc Telecom Group has once again proven its capacity to understand and control new information technologies. In addition, the group practices strict cost control that retains high margins and leaves investment capacity undiminished. In order to pave the way for high-speed broadband, Maroc Telecom has pursued significant renovation of its mobile, fixed line, and internet networks.’

Source: TeleGeography

Morocco: Etisalat raises €3bn for Morocco deal

United Arab Emirates telecommunications firm Etisalat said on Monday that it has raised €3,15bn to fund the acquisition of French media giant Vivendi’s 53% stake in Morocco’s main provider, Maroc Telecom.

The funds were raised with a group of 17 international, regional and local banks in the UAE.

“Financing consists of two facilities which can be utilised in euros and/or US dollars,” Etisalat said in a statement.

“Utilisation of funds under the two facilities will take place at the closing of the transaction with Vivendi.”

On 5 November last year, the French media and entertainment group announced an agreement with Etisalat to sell its Maroc Telecom stake for €4,2bn in cash.

Vivendi said at the time that the agreement was final, although it was subject to some conditions, notably approval from regulatory authorities in countries where Maroc Telecom operates.

The Moroccan state holds 30% of Maroc Telecom, which is quoted on the stock exchange in Casablanca.

Etisalat became the only potential buyer of the 53% holding after Qatari firm Ooredoo, formerly QTel, withdrew from the running last June.

Vivendi and Etisalat, one of the biggest telecoms groups in the Middle East, began negotiations at the end of April 2013.

Etisalat, which also operates in Saudi Arabia and in Egypt and has interests in Africa and Asia, provides services to 141m customers in 15 countries.

Source: Tech Central