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Maroc Telecom prepares for rival

Maroc Telecom is preparing for the arrival of a third GSM provider by signing a deal with Motorola. The American company will provide Maroc with new GSM base stations.

Maroc Telecom is preparing for the arrival of a third GSM operator in 2003 by expanding its network and adding subscribers.

The company, already facing stiff competition from Telefonica-owned MediTel, has signed up with long-term partner Motorola, which will provide a string of new GSM base stations in exchange for $47 million.

“It’s indicative of the growing demand for wireless services throughout the Middle East and Africa,” said Jeff Cherif, general manager of Motorola’s MEA telecom carrier solution group.

“That trend is expected to continue as network operators, such as Maroc Telecom, prepare for entry into GPRS services and solutions.”

The American company will supply its Horizon macro GSM 900 MHz base stations for installation in Marrakech, Agadir, Tangier, Tetouan, Fes, Maknes, Casablanca and El-jadida. The contract covers site acquisition, installation, integration and network optimisation.

Morocco currently has around four million subscribers, about 15% of the population.

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