What is it with mobile phones in Morocco? If you believed the statistics, then Morocco, with a population of around 32 million has 36.55 million mobile phone users at the end of 2011. That is more phones than people in the Kingdom. Compared to 2010, this is a growth rate of 14.29 percent giving the country a penetration rate of 113.57 percent.
Of course the raw figures do not paint an accurate figure. A 100% penetration rate is an impossibility, given that there are large sections of the community who do not possess a mobile phone. Some people are either too old, too young or too poor. Rural areas fall a long way below the national penetration rate.
This is more than 100% penetration rate is not unique to Morocco. In fact it can be observed in a large number of countries. The explanation is that many pre-paid customers have multiple sim cards for use on different networks and telcos have difficulty establishing when a card becomes inactive. In Morocco at present around 26 percent of all phone customers have a contract and are "post-billed" compared to almost 14 percent for pre-paid. The number of multiple sim card owners is unknown.
According to a recent report from the national telecom regulator ANRT, Maroc Telecom saw its mobile market share fall to 48.85 percent at the end of 2011, compared to 52.81 percent a year earlier, Medi Telecom’s dipped to 32.92 percent from 33.74 percent and Wana Corporate (Inwi) was the big winner, growing from 13.45 percent to 20.23 percent.
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As we reported a few days ago, Morocco's love affair with the Internet continues (see story here). The number of Internet users increased by 70.44 percent to 3.18 million, and the fact that there are 4.1 million FaceBook users indicates just how many Internet users are using a mobile device to go online. Mobile internet accounted for 81.41 percent of all internet users at the end of last year, followed by ADSL at 18.53 percent, up 18.49 percent on a year earlier.
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