Morocco makes second attempt to liberalize its fixed-line segment
Morocco’s telecom regulator ANRT will try a second time to liberalize the nation’s fixed line sector by announcing a timetable for a new license in the first quarter of 2004, said a spokesperson from the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Telecommunication.
Morocco tendered in 2002 for the sale of the second fixed license but no one from the twelve initially interested companies submitted a proposal. The fixed line subscriber base is decreasing in the Arab state because of the boom in the cellular market.
Speaking at a recent press conference, the ministry source said that ANRT is trying to re-vamp the license to make it more appealing to international telecom firms. One of the possible incentives could be a double offering of a fixed and mobile license to a single operator.
Morocco was the first country in the Arab World to have witnessed a drop in its fixed lines market. The Arab state’s decreasing demand for fixed services coupled with its very low PSTN penetration rate has clearly induced a loss of appetite for any potential investor in the service, According to Arab Advisors Group. Another possible reason for the lack of interest in the fixed services tender is the relative underdevelopment of the Internet and datacomm segments in the country, which makes investing in fixed services even riskier.
Two telecommunication companies presently operate in Morocco ― Maroc Telecom, of which the French Vivendi Group controls 35 percent, and the Meditel Company, which belongs to the Spanish Telefonica Group. — (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)