Telecoms watchdog Agence Nationale de Reglementation des Telecommunications (ANRT) has delayed until 5 November the closing date for offers for a second fixed-line network. Bids were originally due to be submitted by 8 October, but ANRT decided to put back the deadline after holding clarification meetings with prospective candidates on 4-9 September.
Some 12 international companies purchased the documents when the tender was issued in July. Included among the interested companies is the first private local GSM operator Meditelecom, local finance house Upline Securities, leading private conglomerate ONA, and state railway company ONCF. International companies such as Bahrain Telecommunications Company (Batelco), Telecom Egypt Dataand PricewaterhouseCoopersalso bought the dossieras did the regional Atlas Group. The new network, which will be Morocco's first private fixed-line network, is set to cover the kingdom's seven largest cities (MEED 19:7:02).
In August, ANRT awarded licences to two local companies, Morocco Radio Telecom (Moratel)and Inquam Telecom, for the establishment and operation of trunk mobile radio networks.