The telecoms regulator declined to say how much Wana bid for the licence, although it confirmed that the operator would pay a MD36m ($4m) fee for “the reorganisation of spectrum”.

The Agence Nationale de Reglementation des Telecommunications (ANRT) also declined to say how many other bids it received for the licence.

The award is for a second generation (2G) licence.

As Wana was the only operator in Morocco with a third generation (3G) licence, it could afford to bid more for the 2G licence than other incumbent operators as it will now be able sell both 3G and 2G services, according to a UK-based telecoms analyst who asked not to be named.

Wana will compete with the two incumbent 2G operators, Maroc Telecom and Meditel, which is backed by Spain’s Telefonica and Portugal Telecom.