Moroccan telecoms regulator, the Agence Nationale de Reglementation de Telecom (ANRT), has announced that it had awarded three 20-year Long Term Evolution (LTE) licences to the country’s mobile operators – Itissalat Al Maghrib (IAM, Maroc Telecom), Inwi (Wana) and Medi Telecom (Meditel). Maroc Telecom, majority owned by United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based Etisalat, paid MAD1 billion (USD99.93 million) for frequencies in the 800MHz (to be allocated in two stages), 1800MHz and 2.6GHz bands, French group Orange’s local affiliate Meditel paid MAD500.437 million, while Wana paid MAD503.000 million. The allocated spectrum is listed as follows:
• Meditel (Licence A): 796MHz-801MHz/837MHz-842MHz (Phase 1); 791MHz-801MHz/832MHz-842MHz (Phase 2); 1775MHz-1785MHz-1870MHz-1880MHz; and 2540MHz-2560MHz/2660MHz-2680MHz;
• Maroc Telecom (Licence B): 801MHz-806MHz/842MHz-847MHz (Phase 1); 801MHz-811MHz/842MHz-852MHz (Phase 2); 1725MHz-1735MHz/1820MHz/1830MHz; and 2520MHz-2540MHz/2640MHz-2660MHz; and
• Wana (Licence C): 806MHz-811MHz/847MHz-852MHz (Phase 1); 811MHz-821MHz/852MHz-862MHz (Phase 2); 1750MHz-1760MHz/18445MHz-1855MHz; and 2500MHz-2520MHz/2620MHz-2640MHz.
In addition, the three operators need to contribute a total of MAD860 million for the re-organisation of the spectrum, the ANRT said. 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.