- Since its launch in the Moroccan market in November 2003, the number of ADSL subscribers grew at a phenomenal rate reaching 0.331 million by end of June 2006. Morocco's ADSL market grew by 97.0 percent during the second quarter of 2006 alone and during last year, ADSL subscribers increased by an impressing 294 percent.
Growth in ADSL subscribers in Morocco is by far outstripping that of the total Internet subscribers' growth, which was set at 8.2 percent during the second quarter of 2006. This, according to a new report released by Arab Advisors Group, is "due to internal churn from dialup and leased lines into ADSL for cost savings."
Despite the large growth rate in Internet subscription and in particular ADSL subscriptions in the North African kingdom, the telecom service still is used by a small minority, comparable to many sub-Saharan states. Morocco’s Internet accounts penetration in Morocco currently stands at 1.12 percent.
The new report, 'Morocco Internet and Datacomm Landscape' was recently released to the Arab Advisors Group’s Telecoms Strategic Research Service subscribers. The 54-page report, which has 65 detailed exhibits, provides a detailed analysis of the Moroccan Internet and datacomm markets and profiles the operational Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the country.
The report includes 5-year historical and 5-year projections on Internet uptake and revenues. The report provides, moreover, a detailed and comprehensive picture on the Internet market strategies and regulations, e-commerce, and online content and services landscape, according to the publishers.
Findings in the report include that the ISPs in Morocco do not require full-fledged licenses. Instead, any ISP in the country should obtain a declaration from the ANRT, the telecommunications regulator. These declarations have to be renewed on a yearly basis. The ANRT then forwards a copy of this declaration to the concerned governmental agencies. The declaration is essentially a class license that applicants can get with relative ease.
The first Internet connection was established in Morocco by Maroc Télécom in 1995, the historical part reveals. Between 1997 and 2000, Morocco has seen the creation of many ISPs, which have subsequently consolidated around two major players: Maroc Télécom’s Menara Internet service and Maroc Connect’s Wanadoo-branded service.
Presently, there are 10,051 holders of Internet declarations in the country, of whom 4,190 enlisted in 2005. The vast majority of which are Internet cafés and four broadband providing ISPs, namely: Maroc Télécom, Maroc Connect, and two smaller ones: Morocco Trade and Development Services SA (MTDS) and Maghreb Net.
Internet accounts in Morocco grew at a healthy CAGR of 49.16 percent between 2001 to 2005. Despite this, "Internet penetration in Morocco is still very low by absolute and relative standards," the report notes.
"With upcoming infrastructure-based competition of multiple fixed operators and lower Internet bandwidth costs, the Arab Advisors Group projects that the Moroccan Internet market will grow at a healthy 2006-2010 CAGR of 29.8 percent." Mirna Sunna, Arab Advisors Research Analyst predicts in the report.
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