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.