Thursday, January 26, 2012

Morocco's Mobile Phone Mania

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.

Moroccan favour smart-phones for going online
In a booming mobile phone market, it is not surprising that fixed phone subscribers fell by 4.89 percent to 3.57 million, for an 11.08 percent penetration rate. Fixed call traffic came down by 9.42 percent year-on-year. Wana Corporate had a 64.59 percent share of the fixed phone market at the end of 2011, followed by Maroc Telecom with 34.79 percent and Medi Telecom with 0.62 percent.

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.

The mobile phone market in Africa is massive 
On a broader front, mobile phone ownership in Africa continues to increase. By early 2010 mobile subscribers in Africa had smashed through the half billion mark and according to Blycroft Mobile Operator database there were some 508.6 million subscribers. Today that is reckoned to be over 600 million



Morocco Time said...

Thanks for posting this - this is actually a big part of what my research is on. Fascinating stuff, isn't it? When I did a presentation at Ithaca College last year, I actually used that same image that you have up there at the top - I love the expression on the man's face.

thami said...

Je n'ai pas à ce jour succombé à la folie du téléphone portable! Je fais la sourde oreille! Je me contente de mon vieux téléphone fixe. Comme ça, j'ai une paix royale!
Bonne fin de semaine!

Unknown said...

Great pictures, great story, great work in there, GREAT BLOG. You've got my respect, congratulations for all your work on this blog, yours sincerlly Robert, right from Romania !!!