Côte d’Ivoire-Morocco: Maroc Telecom announces new investments
Maroc Telecom, the partly state-owned telecommunications operator in Morocco, which is the third mobile operator in Côte d’Ivoire under its local branch Moov, announced it is increasing its investments in the West African country.
The announcement was made by the company’s CEO Abdeslam Ahizoune at a meeting with Ivorian President during a visit to Abidjan.
Ahizoune renewed to the Ivorian President the group’s commitment to increase its investments in the country and to continue participating in the development of the telecommunications sector in Côte d’Ivoire.
He told reporters after the meeting that his group won a global telecommunications license bid and paid to Côte d’Ivoire, a down-payment of €76.2 million (50 billion FCFA) out of a total amount estimated at €152 million. No details as to payment of the remaining amount were given.
The new licence dubbed “global licence” includes 3G and 4G high speed internet services. Ahizoune according to reports also indicated that the new acquirement will open an avenue for other investments, increase internet speed and invest on fibre optic networks.
Maroc Telecom acquired Moov in January 2015 when it bought branches of Emirati communication company Etisalat in Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Niger, Central African Republic and Togo.
With around 5 million customers (September 2015 figures) representing 20.24 per cent of the market share, Moov is the third largest network in the West African country behind leading Orange and MTN.
Last December, Orange and MTN had also paid respectively €76 million and around €80 million as a down-payment to acquire the 4G licence. Reports indicate that the companies promised to continue talks with the government to scale down the licence price deemed too high.
In January 2015, Maroc Telecom was ranked among the most powerful operators in the world by specialized Total Telecom magazine. The Magazine also nominated the group’s chairman Ahizoune in the Top 5 CEOs of African telecom groups. At the African level, the Moroccan group is ranked second behind the South African MTN.