Morocco has a large fleet of mobile subscribers, this is shown by the latest data from the National Telecommunications Regulatory Agency (ANRT). The mobile fleet totaled 47.5 million subscribers at the end of last September. But despite these figures, the fact remains that the field of mobile banking is still lagging, especially since we are far from seeing 5G anytime soon.
Morocco has one of the most developed network connections on the African continent, moreover it is essential as a large consumer of mobile technologies in this sense. At the end of last September, the kingdom had 24.5 million mobile Internet subscribers, an increase of 10% in this sense, for an annual growth of 2.2 million subscribers.
The real strength of Morocco is reflected in its 4G coverage, since the number of subscribers at this level has amounted to 13.4 million customers, which is equal to 55% of the total mobile Internet fleet, but which however remains quite low.
Indeed, this situation is mainly due to technical limitations in terms of infrastructure, due to the fact that certain regions still do not have network coverage, or in which people do not necessarily have access to smartphones or feature phones.
This situation also results from a limitation in the deployment of the mobile banking site.
Mobile financial inclusion has a long way to go
The kingdom has a mobile banking strategy, which does not date from yesterday, since 11 approvals have been granted to national operators for the establishment of an ecosystem conducive to the launch of mobile payment.
But this site is still blocking for a particular reason. No, these are not technical limitations at this level, but it is above all a question of changing mentalities.
Indeed, many merchants are still reluctant to set up mobile payment solutions, due to the high traceability that they offer, in addition to the cost on transactions, considered high.
Furthermore, traders are not the only ones to blame in this story, since not everyone still has access to smartphones, despite the competitive offers on the national market. But you should know that illiteracy has an important part at this level, because a good part of the population still does not know how to write its name, and even less to use new technologies.
The launch of the mobile banking project should allow the inclusion of 14 million people who remain without access to various banking services, according to data from Bank Al-Maghrib (BAM). Besides, mobile banking is a significant project, especially when you know that we are talking about a potential of 6 million customers within 3 years. However, the deployment and development of this project requires a lot of time, and everyone’s will to materialize.
At the top of 4G, 5G not for tomorrow
As mentioned above, Morocco does have one of the most developed 4G networks in Africa, despite the fact that some places do not yet have basic coverage. Moreover, according to the latest data from the Speedtest Global Index, the kingdom posted the best connections in the Maghreb (33.04 mbps), far exceeding neighboring countries, such as Algeria (7.34 mbps) and Tunisia (25.04 mbps).
But all that we gain in 4G is not enough currently to propel us to the next generation of the network. The kingdom has indeed carried out positive tests for the deployment of this technology by the 3 national operators, it should be noted that there was already talk of a deployment of this in late 2019 early 2020, but it seems to be otherwise. Indeed, given the trade war between the USA and China, the whole world has been impacted by the deployment of 5G, since the Middle Kingdom is the leader in this area, and the blockades to which it is subject are that the world will suffer from an estimated delay of two years, even by replacing Chinese 5G with another American or European one.
Thus, 5G should make its official entry into the kingdom by 2022, which should leave plenty of time for Morocco to develop its network infrastructure by then.