Morocco starts auction for third mobile phone licence

30 October 2008
Morocco's telecoms regulator has started the auction process for the kingdom's third mobile phone licence, which is likely to attract interest from regional and international telecoms operators.

The Agence Nationale de Reglementation des Telecommunications (ANRT) is offering a licence for a network based on second generation (2G) mobile technology, rather than a 3G licence, which will limit the value of bids.

3G technology allows operators to offer mobile broadband services to customers, but 2G technology does not support mobile broadband.

At least four Gulf operators, the UAE's Etisalat, Qatar's Qtel, Saudi Telecom and Kuwait's Zain are likely to buy the tender documents when they go on sale for MAD40,000 ($4,710) on 3 November.

The eventual winner will compete with incumbents Maroc Telecom, which is owned by France's Vivendi, and Meditel, which is owned by Spain's Telefonica and Portugal Telecom.

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