Reuters reports that Moroccan cellco Medi Telecom (Meditel), backed by Portugal Telecom (PT) and Telefonica, plans to invest MAD4.2 billion (USD577 million) over the next two years to keep pace with its competitors and diversify its services. The company will aim the investment chiefly at expanding and upgrading its 2G/3G/3.5G mobile infrastructure to cope with increasing traffic demands and to compete with larger GSM-based rival Maroc Telecom in terms of network coverage. It also plans to invest part of the total in developing data services and grabbing a bigger slice of Morocco’s internet access market. ‘We would end up obsolete if we stuck with exactly what we’ve done to now, which is mostly voice and mostly individual clients,’ said Meditel’s managing director Mohamed Elmandjra, adding that, ‘This investment is a central element in ensuring profitable and durable growth in an increasingly competitive sector.’ A third mobile player in Morocco, domestically owned Wana, has recently launched full roaming services after expanding its previous range of CDMA-based limited mobility wireless in the local loop (WiLL) voice and internet services.
In other news, this week Meditel awarded a network upgrade contract to PT Inovacao, after the Portuguese vendor won an international tender to equip the Moroccan operator’s fibre-optic links with SDH systems developed with Netb@nd technology. PT Inovacao is part of the PT Group.