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Orange: 5G in Morocco by 2020

The deployment of this technology in the kingdom will cost 2 to 3 Billion MAD per operator, according to estimates by Yves Gauthier, CEO of Orange Morocco. In another register, the advent of the first smartphone assembly plant in Morocco, under the banner of STG Telecom, is scheduled for 2019.

The landing of the 5G in Morocco was announced for 2022 by the GSMA Intelligence, but Yves Gauthier, CEO of Orange Morocco, sets a timeframe very short than that of four years. In statements on the sidelines of the Startup Grind 2018, he plans to launch the commercial launch of this technology in the kingdom “within two years”, that is to say in 2020.

Indeed, the teams of Orange Morocco are currently working on 5G, technology at the installation laborious because at the infrastructural level, it is “very difficult to develop new sites” according to Mr.Gauthier, and it will be necessary for the operators to discuss deployment of these sites as many of these are needed for good coverage. For cost optimization, “we will have to share the infrastructure, and we are willing to do so and to collaborate with other players in the market,” says the boss of the telecom operator.

In figures, if telecom investment is around 5 Billion MAD per year, Yves Gauthier estimates that “deploying 5G in Morocco will cost 2 to 3 Billion Dirhams per operator”.

What future for connectivity in Morocco?

The CEO of Orange Morocco was the guest of a roundtable held on 29 November in Casablanca to discuss the future of connectivity in Morocco alongside Adnane Ouassidi, CRO and founder of STG Telecom (operator of fleet management and mobile marketing), as part of the annual meeting of Startup Grind, an appointment of this community created by Google to educate, inspire and connect entrepreneurs with each other.

Being in the era of instantaneous information, the economic development of a country depends on the speed of the connection. To increase it, “we have to attract big servers to Morocco so that their traffic stays here” explains Adnane Ouassidi speaking of Google, Facebook, Youtube, Netflix and other giants of the web. Similarly, it is essential to increase the penetration of smartphones in Morocco, synonymous with cheaper and accessible connectivity, by lowering their price. Ouassidi announces the advent of the first smartphone assembly plant in Morocco in 2019 “to be players and not spectators in this evolution”.

The democratization of smartphone prices will favor another revolution, that of mobile payment. “With the e-wallet, we will have a great accessibility to the data, enough to change our life”, says Ouassidi, citing the example of other African countries with a successful model such as Tanzania, where 50% of payments do it through the mobile. “The Moroccan model will be turned towards mobile payment, which requires more infrastructure than money transfer by mobile but more beneficial to the economy”, he says, explaining that the creation of this ecosystem will take time.

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