[Morocco: Number of mobile subscribers down 2.48% in Q4 2023, mobile internet down 3.17%

[DIGITAL Business Africa] – Internet and mobile telephony. Sectors that did not show a bright face in the fourth quarter of 2023. Mobile operators showed a loss of subscribers during this period. According to indicators published by the National Regulatory Agency for Telecommunications (ANRT), the total mobile base increased from 57.29 million subscribers at the end of September 2023 to 55.87 million at the end of December 2023. In percentage terms, this decrease amounts to 2, 48%.

However, in the same period of 2022, the subscriber base showed an annual growth of 5.62%. The same is the observation regarding the penetration rate of mobile telephony. Instead of increasing or remaining stagnant, it stood at 150.92% at the end of December 2023 compared to 154.76% at the end of September 2023. Operator Itissalat Al-Maghrib controls the market with 35.29%. Its pursuers are Medi Telecom (32.48%) and Wana Corporate (32.23%).

The billing method has also been rejected. It represents a drop of 2.89% between the third and fourth quarter of 2023. This is explained by the fact that the prepaid mobile base decreased from 87.9% at the end of September 2023 to 87.5% at the end of December 2023. From another noted that the mobile contract base increased slightly. From 12.1% it reached 12.5%. The number of prepaid mobile subscribers increased from 50.35 million subscribers at the end of September 2023 to 48.90 million at the end of December 2023.

Outgoing voice traffic decreases, outgoing SMS messages increase

Outgoing mobile voice traffic in the fourth quarter was 11.84 million minutes in the fourth quarter compared to 13 million in the third quarter of 2023, a decrease of 9.08%. Average monthly outbound usage per mobile customer reached 76 minutes/month compared to 85 minutes/month in the same period of 2022.

A strong point of the ANRT report, outgoing SMS traffic (sum of SMS sent during a given quarter by customers of all telephone providers). It recorded 505 million SMS messages compared to 502 million in the third quarter of 2023, an increase of 0.64%. For its part, the fixed telephony base has 2.86 million subscribers at the end of December 2023 compared to 2.78 million at the end of September 2023, registering a quarterly increase of 2.86%. The household penetration rate for fixed telephony reached 25.98% and the population penetration rate reached 7.75%.

The internet base is also in decline

Mobile and fixed internet account for 93.20%. The park recorded a penetration rate of 103.42% at the end of December 2023 compared to 106.80% at the end of September 2023. It reached 38.28 million subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2023 compared to 39.53 million in the fourth quarter of 2023 third quarter of the same year. Which represents, according to ANPT, a regression of 3.17%. As always, Itissalat Al-Maghrib holds 32.79% of the market share (fixed and mobile). Medi Telecom and Wana Corporate share the remaining 67.21%. The penetration rate at the end of December 2023 reached 103.42% against 106.80% at the end of September. The distribution of the Internet base by type of access shows that mobile Internet accounts for 93.20%.

As for fixed wired internet, it represents 6.36%. In this segment, the fiber optic network (FTTH) recorded annual and quarterly growth of 38.27% and 9.17% respectively, reaching 845,000 subscribers. Itissalat Al-Maghrib holds 48.61% of the fiber optic market share. The other operators share 51.39% of the market share.

As for the Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line ADSL segment, it reached 1.58 million subscribers at the end of December 2023 compared to 1.56 million at the end of September 2023. Quarterly growth is estimated at 1.50% and 2.06% annually. ADSL access with a speed greater than or equal to 8 MB/s represents 63.35% of ADSL subscriptions. Itissalat Al-Maghrib holds 72.53% of the market share. Medi Telecom and Wana Corporate share 27.47%.

We remind you that on December 20, 2023, a contract was signed for the creation of an “IXP” Internet exchange point in Morocco between Itissalat Al-Maghrib, Medi Telecom and Wana Corporate. According to the lematin.ma website, this project “consists of the creation of infrastructures that make it possible to route and exchange national Internet traffic between operators and/or users of said infrastructure. In order to ensure its strong durability, its architecture is built around three separate accommodation areas in Morocco, according to the best standards in the sector.

The work of the Internet exchange point “IXP” is aligned with the implementation of the provisions of Article 8 quarter of Law no. 24-96 relating to posts and telecommunications.

By Jean Materne Zambo

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