By Ahmed El Oulji
By Ahmed El Oulji
Rabat – Morocco’s Telecommunications Regulatory National Agency launched a competitive bidding process on November 17, calling for applications for licenses for the establishment and operation of telecommunications networks using 4th generation mobile technologies (4G).
Maroc Telecom, Meditel, and Inwi will be able to compete in this long-awaited auction, the key to Morocco to begin benefiting from 4G technologies advantages and maintain its position as an African leader in the communications space.
In parallel with the auction, all the operators have started their testing on 4G-LTE (Long Term Evolution). Maroc Telecom conducted a successful test in Rabat, Meditel profited from the Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2014 held in Marrakesh to provide participants a 4G roaming service, and Inwi announced that it has conducted tests carried out in the region of Mohammedia using LTE. The goal of these tests for the operators is to validate their technological choices, and demonstrate their readiness to rapid implementation once their license has been granted by the ANRT.
4G-LTE is a mobile broadband technology capable of delivering a peak download rates up to 100 Mbit/s and upload rates up to 50 Mbit/s depending on the user equipment category, and it offers low data transfer latencies of less than 5 ms. This efficient technology will provide a better user experience to customers.
4G LTE mobile networks offer faster Internet connections on mobile devices, including streaming music, video conferencing, video chat, multiplayer gaming, and network sharing. They also provide application developers more options on mobile devices for gaming, banking, socializing, shopping and watching videos.
Economically speaking, the introduction of 4G is expected to revive the telecom industry in Morocco. 500 million euros is expected to be invested in the deployment process of 4G-LTE, and the increased usage of mobile network services should increase operators’ revenues and consolidate competition between them.
The increased cost of deploying 4G-LTE network necessary will affect the tariffs for such services, which will be undoubtedly higher than the rates for 3G. With an expanding customer base, it is expected that 4G will eventually be available in cheaper packages, but their availability will take time. Most likely it will be around 3-5 years before Moroccans can easily make use of this technology.
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