Rabat – Mobile phones have become more democratized in rural areas with 90.7 percent of people aged between 12 and 65 owned a phone in 2016 according to a survey carried out by the National Telecommunications Regulatory Agency (ANRT).
Information Technology Use Increased in 2016
The use of Information Technology (IT) increased in 2016, asserted (ANRT) in a survey carried out among 2,520 households, 980 of which were in rural areas.
The survey also showed that in urban areas, 67 percent of people aged 12 to 65 years who were equipped with mobile phones had a smartphone in 2016, while in 2015 the number was at 54.7 percent.
Rural areas also recorded an increase in the rate of smartphone ownership from 42.5 percent in 2015 to 56 percent in 2016.
While the number of smartphones in Morocco was estimated at 15 million in 2015, the number increased by three million in 2016 to reach 18 million.
Internet Access Rises in 2016
The survey added that to date, 68.5 percent of Moroccan households have internet access. 77.2% of those are in urban areas and 51.3% in rural areas.
In 2016, more than half the population used the Internet, a slight increase compared with 2015.
In rural areas, the number of Internet users enhanced by 2.2 percent between 2015 and 2016.63.1 percent of Internet users were male and 53.5 percent were female in 2016.
The survey added that 44 percent of these users spent between one and two hours per day on the Internet.
Preferences of Internet Users
80.7 percent of Internet users frequent social networks, news, gaming, leisure and sports content. Educational websites are visited by 45.7 percent of Internet users, training websites by 36.6 percent, and health content by 34.1 percent.
The survey added that the main uses of the Internet are social networks, accounting for 90 percent of visitors, viewing and downloading of multimedia content by 76.7 percent, downloading software and applications by 72.1 percent, and online discussions by 71 percent.
Nearly 77 percent of Internet users access social networks on a daily basis, 80% in urban areas and 68% in rural areas in 2016.
According to the survey, nearly 12 percent of IT users made online purchases in 2016 – 15.5 percent in urban areas and 2.5 percent in rural areas.
As part of its plan in monitoring the development of information technology in Morocco, the ANRT conducts an annual survey on the use of IT among Moroccans.