Huawei plans to launch 5G in Morocco and wants ‘the Kingdom to be the first to launch 5G in Africa.”
Rabat – Huawei, a global provider of information and communications technology infrastructure and devices, outlined the goal for its Moroccan operations at the 9th annual North African suppliers conference in Skhirat, south of Rabat today, Thursday July 18.
“We are the [world] leaders in 5G, and we want to be the leader in Morocco,” said Chakib Achour, the marketing and strategy director of Huawei in Morocco.
“We want the Kingdom to be the first to launch 5G in Africa,” he specified. According to Achour, the company is now only waiting for the green light from the government.
5G is the new generation of mobile internet connectivity, which promises much faster data upload and download speeds, wider coverage and more stable connections.
Internet is important to Moroccans. According to a report released this week by the Moroccan National Telecommunications Regulations Agency (ANRT), access to the internet by Moroccan households has increased three-fold over the last eight years. 74.2% of households are now equipped with internet.
According to ANRT, the leading reason behind the need for an internet connection is “entertainment” (including games and social networks), with Whatsapp and Facebook being the most used apps.
Moroccan telecommunications provider Inwi announced in March that it was ready to launch 5G.
“5G is a reality for Inwi. It is a reality that we anticipated and prepared for through modernising out infrastructure […]. Inwi has modern and agile infrastructure, capable of adapting to all technical evolutions, now and in the future,” declared Fadoua Laaroussi, the performance director at Inwi, in a press release.
Huawei has stated that Inwi is its “strategic partner in the North Africa region.”
“Inwi is the first operator who has signed an agreement with Huawei for the 5G pilot projects […],” Huawei marketing vice-president Eric Liu said.
Huawei is not the only player on the Morocco 5G field. In March, Huawei competitor Ericsson organised a live 5G demonstration at Maroc Telecom headquarters in Rabat, showcasing the technology’s capabilities.
Huawei is firmly present in Morocco, with, according to Achour, an annual revenue of MAD 3 billion, reports Moroccan news source Aujourd’hui le Maroc. Huawei works with the three major local telecommunication providers: Maroc Telecom, Inwi, and Orange.
Expansion into Africa might be Huawei’s next big move, as its future trade relations with the US are currently uncertain.
In early May, US President Donald Trump put Huawei on the “entity list,” on the basis of national security concerns, as part of a complex diplomatic battle between the US and China. The list essentially bars US companies from trading with Huawei without a special license. In early July Trump reportedly eased sanctions, although confusion remains on future trade relationships.