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.