Tuesday 30 October 2018

Nigeria: Challenges of Africa's largest mobile market

Nigeria has Africa’s largest mobile market.. The four main telcos are MTN, 9mobile (formerly Etisalat), Airtel and Globacom. The country has a teledencity of 116 per cent.

Active mobile voice subscriptions on the MTN, 9mobile, Airtel and Globacom networks crashed from 154.7 million in January to 140.4 million in October, 2017 as subscribers responded to a poor economic climate. The initial rapid growth in the number of subscribers had led to problems with network congestion and quality of service, prompting the regulator to impose fines and sanctions on network operators. These operators have responded by investing billions of dollars in base stations and fibre transmission infrastructure to support the increasing demand for data. Although GSM technology still dominates there is a growing shift to services based on LTE.

MTN Nigeria is a junior company of Africa’s leading telecommunication company, MTN Group. MTN Nigeria is ranked no. 1 among the list of 101 best mobile network operators across Africa.

MTN was fined about $5.2 billion in October 2015, after it was discovered that some 5.2 million lines on its network were not properly registered. 

MTN Nigeria says it will start the commercial deployment of 5G technology before 2020.
MTN CEO stated,
“We will need a more stable economic climate to support the investment in the infrastructure. The issue of tax must be reviewed. There must be support for telecom infrastructure as national assets to be able to drive incremental investment and make the nation appealing to foreign investors. 5G will make our life better, drive incremental capacity and open up new businesses. MTN as a company is constantly making efforts to break barriers by democratising voice and data connectivity in order to improve subscriber experience, and has invested over N800bn in infrastructure in Nigeria.”
MTN had tested a range of 5G use cases and applications in its test lab proof of concept in South Africa, and promised to continue to identify 5G use cases and applications for the digital transformation of industries such as mining, transportation, agriculture, manufacturing and utilities.

Globacom, or the popularly known Glo, is a leading Nigerian mobile network operators. It was founded in 2003 and since then, Glo Mobile soared in being part of Africa’s communication life.

Glo Mobile offers low-cost prepaid and postpaid bundles for messaging, data, and broadband for private individuals and business developers. Glo Mobile is headquartered in Nigeria and is present in other big cities of Africa. Glo Mobile lowest bundle starts only at ₦50 and can go as high as ₦18,000 for larger scale of data. Glo Mobile has 25% share in the African market for its nearly 41 million active subscribers.

Bharti Airtel Ltd. is widely known as Airtel. Airtel is one of the largest Nigerian mobile network operator that is operating multinational. Headquartered in New Delhi, India, it is present in 20 countries across Africa and Asia. The company provides spectrum of network services like 2G, 3G, and 4G band and broadband solutions through DSL, IPTV, and DTH. Airtel has a broad menu of prepaid and business services for the public and private sectors. For only ₦100, you can start surfing the internet with Airtel.

In its 9 years of operation, 9mobile (previously Etisalat) has built up state-of-the-art telecom infrastructure and taken a leadership position of innovation and quality among mobile network operators operating in Nigeria. With the more recent launch of 4G LTE in October 2016, 9mobile is poised to drive the future of technology in Nigeria through the delivery of high speed data and quality voice services that will enable customers on its network to do more.

Saturday 27 October 2018

5G Development and Progress in Singapore

The Singapore regulator IMDA (Info-communications Media Development Authority) recently presented at ITU-APT 26-28 GHz India 5G spectrum Workshop. This blog contains a summary of the presentation by Mr. Henry Foo, Senior Assistant Director in Policy, Regulation & Competition Development Group, IMDA.

To encourage 5G testing and development in Singapore, IMDA has waived any fees associated with spectrum during the trials. It is also doing co-existence trials with other stakeholders and spectrum in the 3.5GHz and 28GHz bands.

Remember that as pointed out in the tweet above, there is a possibility of interference between 4G & 5G. Singapore already has 1800 MHz (1.8 GHz) in use for LTE so trials need to identify the interference between 1.8 & 3.5 GHz.
As with most other countries, its looking at 700 MHz for coverage layer, 3.5 GHz for capacity layer and 26, 28 & 38 GHz for high throughput layer.

The operators in Singapore (M1, Singtel, Starhub) have similar concerns to operators elsewhere. How do you recover the investments in LTE before investing further into 5G? What are the killer use cases for 5G that will be a source for additional new revenue?
5G small cells are foreseen to play a big role in the mmWave spectrum for providing high throughput in low-mobility scenarios. Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) is another technology being trialed. FWA is going to be an interesting use case because Fiber to the home and premises (FTTH/FTTP) is easily available there with speeds upto 10 Gbps.

Back in July, Singtel announced that it will launch by the fourth quarter of this year Singapore’s first 5G pilot network at one-north, the country’s science, business and IT hub along with Ericsson. The pilot network can deliver 5G coverage with enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) speed and low latency communications.
"Singtel and Ericsson are planning drone and autonomous vehicle trials on their 5G pilot network later this year at one-north and other designated areas. Enterprises can use the network to develop new 5G use cases and tap the business potential of 5G." 

M1 is working with Huawei & Nokia for 5G. First announcement with Huawei
M1 Limited (M1) and Huawei today announced plans to jointly showcase innovative 5G use cases in Singapore, starting with the live demonstration of 360-view Virtual Reality (VR) content broadcast by end of June this year. The demonstration, using 5G equipment setup at M1’s MiWorld building in Jurong, is Singapore’s first end-to-end 5G live trial using Huawei’s 5G equipment operating at the 28GHz millimetre wave (mmWave) frequency band.

The next announcement with Nokia, a day later.
M1 Limited (M1) and Nokia today announced plans to conduct Nokia’s first 5G small cell trial in Southeast Asia. The two companies will also showcase demand-driven 5G use cases in selected vertical industries which require dedicated small cell capacity and very low latency IoT connectivity. 
Leveraging on M1’s engineering experience in deploying an extensive 4.5G Heterogeneous Network (HetNet) at traffic hotspots throughout Singapore, this 5G small cell trial marks another important milestone in M1 and Nokia’s joint efforts in staying at the forefront of the  latest technology developments. The findings from this live trial will provide valuable practical learnings for the commercial deployment of 5G small cells in a dense cell grid architecture and operating at very high 5G frequency bands.

Starhub upgraded their LTE network to Gigabit LTE (4.5G or LTE-A Pro) back in April. It has announced that it will be switching on limited 5G by the end of the year.
"StarHub and Nokia have signed a multi-year agreement under which Nokia will deploy network upgrades using its advanced radio access, small cells, virtualised core and IP routing technologies as well as its cloud orchestration and signalling, network management, security, IoT, self-organising network and session border controller software."
Other operators from Southeast Asia a keenly watching 5G developments in Singapore to decide their way forward.

Thursday 25 October 2018

The Rise of Reliance Jio Continues as it Acquires Over 250 Million Subscribers

Reliance Jio announced last week that it has crossed 250,000,000 subscribers. The following are some of the highlights from the announcement (emphasis mine):

  • Jio has accelerated its pace of subscriber additions further with net addition during the quarter of 37.0 million (as against 28.7 million in the previous quarter), highest in any quarter since the launch of commercial services
  • Gross adds at 41.7 million and churn of 4.7 million implying the lowest industry churn rate at 0.66% per month
  • Customer engagement continued to grow with average data consumption per user per month of 11.0 GB and average voice consumption of 761 minutes per user per month
  • Video consumption drove most of the usage, increasing to 410 crore hours per month on the network; average video consumption of 17.5 hours per subscriber per month
  • Further deepening of all-IP 4G LTE network in existing areas along with coverage expansion to 99% of population is on track to be completed in FY19
  • Only network to deploy tri-band (800MHz/ 1800MHz/ 2300MHz) pan-India 4G
  • World’s largest mobile data consumption network which is 5G ready
  • World’s largest VOLTE network, with voice traffic growing consistently
  • JioTV is the best rated live and catch-up TV app; JioCinema is the most popular video-ondemand app; JioMusic and Saavn together is music powerhouse with over 40 million songs; JioMags and JioNews are other highly popular customer offerings
  • Strengthened the KaiOS app-store for JioPhone users with customised versions of popular social media applications like YouTube, WhatsApp and Facebook
  • Reliance Retail Ltd launched the ‘Monsoon Hungama’ offer for JioPhone with upfront security deposit of only ₹ 501 for a new JioPhone during the quarter. The offer works in conjunction with return of an old feature phone. Also, JioPhone 2, which offers a larger screen and full QWERTY keyboard for a price of ₹ 2,999 has been offered through limited period flash sales. Most used social media applications like YouTube, Facebook and WhatsApp are now available for Jio Phone users

I blogged about Jio phone 2 earlier here. JioPhone (1) and JioPhone2 are both feature phones based on KaiOS. In fact I tweeted back in May that Jio has become a leader in feature phones.

According to Telecomtalk, it is widely expected that my March 2020, Reliance Jio will have over 400 million subscribers and over 150 million JioPhone users.

Finally, Communications Today has some interesting charts from Bloomberg. I am going to use one chart below to show how data prices have plummeted in India which is responsible for major uptake of data services.

Related Posts:

Sunday 21 October 2018

China Mobile’s Targeted Poverty Alleviation System

From GSMA's 2018 Mobile Industry Impact Report: Sustainable Development Goals:

China has the largest agricultural sector in the world, and for the millions of people living in rural areas, agriculture is a way of life. However, there are still more than 30 million rural people living in poverty. To combat this, the Chinese government’s "targeted poverty alleviation strategy" aims to eradicate absolute poverty for all rural residents by 2020.

Introduced at the beginning of 2016, China Mobile’s Targeted Poverty Alleviation System (TPAS) consists of two parts: a mobile poverty application and a big data management & analytics platform. Through the system, government anti-poverty staff can use smartphones to collect information on rural families in poverty (to understand their health, diet and drinking conditions) to enable the government to manage poverty alleviation work more effectively. Concurrently, information and resources from NGOs and the government is shared (via the app) among the rural population, so that people can learn about poverty alleviation policies, apply for jobs, and access vital information (such as health advice or educational opportunities). China Mobile’s TPAS also enables rural poverty families to market and sell their agricultural produce through e-commerce channels, helping them to generate an income.

Impact: To date, China Mobile’s targeted poverty alleviation platform has been applied in 60 cities and counties in 10 provinces (namely Chongqing, Hunan, Henan, Anhui, Shanxi, Liaoning, Shannxi, Yunnan, Jiangxi, Ningxia) covering 7.18 million impoverished people and serving 710,000 poverty alleviation cadres. By 2020, China Mobile aims to cover 10 million impoverished people in China, to provide intelligent tools and link thousands of welfare resources to government staff, and help the government run targeted poverty alleviation policies.

Further Reading:

Saturday 20 October 2018

Etisalat: Striving for 5G

Etisalat is a multinational Emirati based telecommunications services provider, with 143 million subscribers operating in 16 countries across Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Etisalat’s current market cap is over AED 156 billion (42.5 billion USD). With reported net revenues of AED 52.4 billion and net profit of AED 8.4 billion for 2016, Etisalat ranks amongst the most profitable telecom groups in the world.

Etisalat became one of the world’s fastest growing telecom operators; with customer numbers growing from 4 million to over 140 million in less than 10 years. Its international acquisition programme began in earnest in 2004 through the award of the second mobile license, and the first 3G license in Saudi Arabia. Since then the company has witnessed rapid expansion, across the Middle East, Africa and Asia through acquisitions and organic growth. Etisalat now has access to a population of close to 700 million people, with Thuraya; its satellite network provider covering over two thirds of the planet’s surface.
Etisalat’s focuses on delivering innovative solutions to transform the communities in which it operates and fast track social development and economic growth. The telco is committed to actively develop and engineer platforms for growth within the local markets in which it operates through the deployment of advanced technologies, quality networks and customer focused services.

Etisalat launched 4G mobile services in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, and presently operates the Middle East’s largest LTE network with population coverage exceeding 82 per cent. Etisalat offers both the Middle East’s fastest fixed line broadband service with speeds of up to 500Mbps - the highest mobile broadband connectivity speeds to date. It has also launched several 3G networks in its footprint including Egypt Afghanistan; Ivory Coast and Benin. These advancements have helped Etisalat capture market share with the introduction of mobile broadband services and affordable internet access.

In May 2018 Etisalat announced the launch of the first commercial 5G wireless network in the UAE becoming the first telecom operator in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to achieve this technological milestone and set an industry benchmark.

Saleh Al Abdooli, CEO, Etisalat Group applauded the efforts of the entire team, he said:

"Today's announcement is a historic moment for the company as the commercial launch of the 5G network will set a milestone for the UAE. Etisalat today is the first telecom operator in the world to provide this ultra-high 5G C-band data speed as a commercial service over the wireless network.
5G stands out as a game changer with rich potential, an evolution that would elevate services, performance, and enablement. It is the natural progression as part of our network modernization journey, the anticipated technical specifications are promising, bringing along various desirable features and functionalities."
The aim to have a fully developed commercial 5G network available to provide gigabit internet services to its customers. The network will fuel enterprises digital transformation, IoT, smart cities and the fourth industrial revolution.

Etisalat is also set to launch 5G devices by first-half of 2019.

This year at Gitex, Etisalat also has a special exhibition on the future of mobility, which is the best use case for 5G. The arrival of 5G technology will allow faster data transmissions and will prove to be game changing for the autonomous industry. 

A download speed comparison between 4G and 5G live networks was showcased live giving visitors a chance to experience the "download time" difference between the two technologies by downloading a 4K HD movie/video using 4G and 5G e 5G use case that will focus on ultra-high speed and low latency. The exhibit will highlight the comparison of time to download a 4K video using 4G and 5G technology. The video(more than 1GB) download time is taken only 13 seconds as opposed to 4G, which takes approximately 2 minutes.

The download progress was displayed on the screen to show the time taken to download the file on each technology. Visitors will had the chance to observe the time taken to download a large size file on 4G and 5G concurrently.

Saeed Al Zarouni, Senior Vice President, Mobile Network, Etisalat highlighted:

 "This year our participation at Gitex Technology week is significant as visitors can experience live 5G giving them a preview of the digital future. Etisalat has also taken the lead in 5G this year and this showcase is a testimony to our long-standing efforts in bringing growth and innovation in the country laying the foundation for smart city development.
"The showcase is also in line with our main theme at Gitex this year 'Leading the 5G Revolution' and 'Driving the Digital Future to empower societies'. We believe 5G technologies and services will deliver capacity and connectivity along with opportunities for economic growth, education, healthcare, transportation and more."

Also on exhibited by Etisalat at Gitex is Pop.UpNext's Future Mobility Concept, an unmanned flying electric vehicle that is jointly developed by Audi, Airbus, and ItalDesign. Pop.Up Next's philosophy behind the design anticipates the challenges that the next 50 years will bring. It represents a vision of the potential offered by future technologies when it comes to transportation.

The concept aims to tackle issues linked to city planning and traffic in large urban centres that are increasingly becoming one of the priority aspects for safeguarding our planet. The Pop.Up Next system aims to free commuters from the need to drive through a flexible, shared and adaptable new way of moving within cities.

The vehicle combines the flexibility of a small two-seater ground vehicle with the freedom and speed of a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) air vehicle, thus bridging the automotive and aerospace domains.

The car itself is a self-driving, electric vehicle, it is the first fully electric and zero-emission modular system bringing together road mobility and air transport. It combines the flexibility of a small two seater ground vehicle with the freedom and speed of a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) air vehicle, thus bridging the automotive and aerospace domains. It can accelerate to 60mph in 9.7 seconds with a top speed exceeding 130kmph. The car features a curved 5K widescreen display that comes with voice and gesture control. The interactive display system, made by Harman, lets you do everything from watching movies to alerting you of upcoming obstacles, and even telling you when the light will turn green, through a vehicle-to-infrastructure communication system. The car also comes with a heads-up display to provide guidance when making turns when a driver is behind the wheel.

Etisalat also demonstrated an advanced 5G based drone equipped with a 360-degree VR camera and 4K streaming experience.

With IoT gaining popularity and the use of cyber-physical systems and advanced analytics to transform all aspects of the industry, Etisalat has also displayed tactile internet use cases where the robotic system is controlled remotely using the 5G technology. Tactile internet enables humans and machines to interact with their environment, in real time, while on the move and within a certain spatial communication range as well as enables haptic interaction with visual feedback. 

These 5G powered tactile production systems showcased for the first time support increasingly flexible production lines and safer working environments that will allow industry to enhance productivity, and respond to customer needs, as they continue on their digital transformation journey. 

Monday 15 October 2018

Big Data & Artificial Intelligence at Telefónica Deutschland

Telefonica Deutschland, a.k.a. O2 Germany is Germany's largest mobile operator. As in case of many other advanced mobile operators, its looking at how to exploit Big Data, Analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to improve end-user QoE.

Telefonica's 3G coverage is close to 90% while the LTE coverage is over 80%.

Advanced Data Analytics  can be applied to big data with the intention of monetizing it. As can be seen in the picture above:

  • Transport analytics can be applied to develop insights into human journeys to support customer decision-making (e.g. for traffic optimisation). This data can be useful to Transport companies, cities, out-of-home media, etc.
  • Retail analytics can be used to better understand consumer behaviour in store and out of store to improve customer journeys. This data can be retail shops, operators of branch networks, etc.

At MWC 2018, Telefónica launched Aura, an artificial intelligence-powered digital assistant that will transform the way customers interact with Telefónica and manage their digital life with the company. They first release of Aura was made available in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom.  Aura will be delivered to customer devices via a mobile application, but also via other third-party channels including Facebook, Google and Microsoft.

The intention of AI powered assistant is to increase customer benefits and reduce costs.

The end goal for Telefónica Deutschland is to become Mobile Customer & Digital champion. We wish them all the best!

Source: Telefónica Deutschland Capital Market Day 2018

Saturday 13 October 2018

Italy's 5G Spectrum Auction Controversy

5G spectrum auctions went far better than expected in Italy for the government. According to Mobile World Live:

Vodafone Italia and Telecom Italia each spent €2.4 billion to grab the largest share of spectrum on offer in an Italian auction of 5G-suitable frequencies, which raised €4 billion more than the minimum amount targeted by the government.

All four of the country’s operators secured spectrum. Newcomer Iliad Italia spent €1.2 billion, while Wind Tre acquired licences to the value of €517 million.

In a statement, Italy’s Ministry for Economic Development said the auction generated “lively competition” especially for the lots of 3.7GHz. In that band, Vodafone and Telecom Italia were both awarded 80MHz at a cost of €1.7 billion each, while the other two operators secured allocations of 20MHz for €484 million apiece.

Telecom Italia and Vodafone Italia also bought 200MHz of 26GHz (mmWave) and 20MHz in the 700MHz band. Iliad won 200MHz in the 26GHz band, alongside its 20MHz of 3.7GHz and 10MHz in the 700MHz band. Wind Tre acquired 20MHz of 3.7GHz and 200MHz in the 26GHz band.

Licences are valid for 19 years, with the exception of 700MHz allocations, which will not be released until 2022 and cover a term of 15.5 years. 

A similar 5G spectrum auction in Finland in 3.4 - 3.8 GHz band raised a mere €77.6 million for the Finnish government. According to Light Reading:

The home of Nokia yesterday wrapped up an auction of spectrum in the 3.4-3.8GHz range that raised just €77.6 million ($89.3 million) for the government, barely enough to refurbish some local saunas. Italy's runaway sale of 3.6-3.8GHz spectrum, by contrast, yesterday passed the €6 billion ($6.9 billion) milestone. Assuming the government doesn't waste it on celebratory Prosecco, the eventual windfall could plug more than a few holes in the public-sector purse. 

Finland's auction has been restrained for a couple of reasons. First, the government decided to auction three very large spectrum blocks of equal size. Second, the Finnish mobile market has effectively consolidated into a three-player affair, a ménage à trois in which everyone is reasonably content.

Consequently, Telia Finland, Elisa Corp. and DNA Oy each walked away with a 130MHz license that did not come at eye-watering expense. While Telia Company shelled out the most with a €30.3 million ($34.9 million) payment, no operator spent dramatically more than government base prices of either €23 million ($26.5 million) or €21 million ($24.2 million), depending on the allocation in question. Elisa and DNA paid €26.3 million ($30.3 million) and €21 million ($24.2 million) for their concessions, respectively.

In Italy, the government appears to have chopped a 200MHz block of spectrum into four uneven chunks, two of 80MHz and two of 20MHz. A 20MHz channel would not really be enough for most advanced 5G services, though, and operators know it. Four of them are fighting over these airwaves after competition authorities recently opened the door to France's Iliad, one of Europe's most aggressive mobile operators. Their aim was to prevent Italy from consolidating into a dreaded three-player mobile market with the merger of 3 Italia and Wind.

The following is a summary of all the spectrum courtesy of Fitch Solutions Macro Research:

Finnish Spectrum Auction, October 2018
Source: Ficora
BandOperatorPrice (EUR)
Italian Spectrum Auction
Source: Ministry Of Economic Development
BandOperatorPrice (EUR)
3700MHz (80MHz)TIM1,694,000,000
3700MHz (80MHz)Vodafone1,685,000,000
3700MHz (20MHz)WindTre483,920,000
3700MHz (20MHz)Iliad483,900,000

It will be interesting to see how it works out in 5G and if operators are still able to deploy a 5G network that is compared to other European countries.

Further Reading:

Tuesday 9 October 2018

SK Telecom Mobile Network History and 5G

SK Telecom has a long history of being world's first but that may not necessarily hold true for 5G. There have been so many claims of "first in the world" that it is even difficult to keep track of who has been launching what kind of 5G.

The picture above summarizes SK Telecom's plan for 5G launch, early to mid 2019. The presentation, delivered to ITU is available here.

Related Posts:

Monday 8 October 2018

USA gets two faux 5G networks

From Android Headlines, back in July:

Regional wireless carrier C-Spire claims it already launched 5G service in the United States, having announced it’s now offering a next-generation fixed wireless access solution in select locations across Mississippi earlier this week. While the company is referring to its solution as 5G, it’s not basing it on the 3GPP’s Release 15 or any other standard released by the wireless consortium. Instead, it’s using proprietary hardware and a set of close-sourced IEEE 802.11 specifications, so while the service offers faster speeds compared to 4G LTE, it likely wouldn’t be considered as “true” 5G by anyone outside of C-Spire.

Another one from Android Headlines regarding Verizon's 5G Fixed Wireless:

A number of officials from the stateside wireless segment dismissed Verizon’s claim of having the world’s first commercial 5G network and customers. Speaking with AndroidHeadlines under the condition of anonymity, several industry veterans pointed to the examples of Qatari carrier Ooredoo and Mississippi operator C-Spire as clear evidence that Verizon’s claims about the uniqueness of its 5G Home service are entirely false. Much like Verizon, C-Spire and several other telecom companies abroad already launched fixed wireless access solutions reliant on a proprietary specification that’s in no way associated with the 3GPP, the organization responsible for standardizing the next generation of cellular connectivity.

Here is what John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile USA had to say about Verizon's 5G launch

Related Posts:

Sunday 7 October 2018

Maroc Telecom's African Presence

Morocco has been consistently making it into the top 50 countries for LTE availability and speed. This is mostly thanks to Maroc Telecom, Morocco's largest mobile operator. According to the facts and figures published:

As a global operator and leader in Morocco and other African countries, the Maroc Telecom Group actively participates in teh development of Africa's telecommunications sector. It is a major player on the contintent with a presence in ten countries: Morocco, Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Central African Republic, and Togo, with nearly 51 million customers.

A major focus on the group's sustainable development policy is the reduce the digital divide. Aware of its responsibility as a leading economic and social force, the group contributes to numerous social initiatives.

In connection with the South-South cooperation policy supported by His Majesty the King, the group is estalbishing a sustainable presence in Africa. Its successful development strategy is built on partnerships founded on confidence, knowledge sharing, and respect for local cultures and skills.

Privatised in 2001, Maroc Telecom has been listed simultaneously on the Casablanca and Paris stock exchanges since December 2004. Its major shareholders are the Etlisalat Group (53%) and the Kingdom of Morocco (30%).

According to Halberd Bastion, the Ownership/Controlling Entities of Maroc Telecom is Etisalat group.

The following are some interesting facts according to a recent Investor Presentation:

  • Sustained revenue growth in outgoing services thanks to the surge in Mobile Internet revenue (+53% year-on-year).
  • Growth in mobile customer base: Growth in Postpaid Mobile customer base which represents more than 9% of the customer base
  • Decline in incoming revenues: Resulting from the liberalization of VoIP since November 2016 and the reintroduction of the asymmetry in call terminations since March 1, 2017
  • Mobile Internet very popular: Data penetration up to 51% - Increase in data usage, thanks to 4G customers who consume 2.3x more than 3G customers
  • Activation of 900 MHz frequency on 3G, allowing the improvement of Indoor and Outdoor coverage

The following information about Maroc Telecom subsidiaries is from Halberd Bastion:

Atlantique Telecom
Headquarters: Côte d'Ivoire
Comments: Recognizing the development potential of mobile telephony in sub-Saharan Africa, Atlantique Telecom Group, created in 2002 by African professionals is a major player in the economic fabric of countries where it operates. The company was acquired by UAE telecommunications giant Etisalat in 2005, only to be sold in 2015 to Maroc Telecom. Atlantique Telecom Group is now a fully owned subsidiary of Maroc Telecom. Being geographically represented in 6 African countries (Benin, Côte d'Ivoire, Gabon, Niger, Central African Republic, and Togo), ATLANTIQUE TELECOM is positioning itself, in terms of presence as one of the leading telecom operators in West Africa and Central Africa. In addition, the group is also operates in the areas of Internet, data and IP telephony, through Prestige Telecom also part of the group.

Telecel (Moov) Faso (Officially Telecel Faso S.A.)
Country: Burkina Faso
2G Bands: 900 MHz
3G Bands: None
4G Bands: None
Comments: Telecel Faso is the third largest mobile carrier operating in Burkina Faso. The company, owned by Atlantique Telecom (now owned by Maroc Telecom), was founded in 2000 and is headquartered in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Telecel Faso is in the process of being rebranded to Moov. The company operates a standard 2G GSM network over the 900 MHz band, including GPRS data services. Telecel Faso has announced its intentions to launch 3G service in the country however to date rollout has not begun.

Onatel (Telmob)
Country: Burkina Faso
2G Bands: 900 MHz
3G Bands: B1 (2100 MHz) - DC-HSPA+
4G Bands: None
Comments: Onatel is the largest mobile carrier operating in Burkina Faso. The company was the first to launch mobile services in the country, with a GSM network launched in December 1996. While still state-owned enterprise, Onatel is considered partially privatised and is listed on the Abidjan Regional Stock Exchange with symbol ONTBF. The largest shareholder is Maroc Telecom with a 61% controlling stake, itself owned by Etisalat. Onatel offers its mobile phone services under the brand Telmob. The company operates a 2G GSM service over the 900 MHz frequency and 3G UMTS network over the B1 (2100 MHz) band since May 2013. DC-HSPA+ data services were announced 10 days after launch.

Moov (Officially Atlantique Telecom Centrafrique SA)
Country: Central African Republic
2G Bands: 900 MHz
3G Bands: None
4G Bands: None
Comments: Moov is a mobile carrier operating in Central African Republic (Centrafrique). The company began operations in 2005 then owned by Atlantic Telecom, only to be acquired by Etisalat shortly after. In 2014 Maroc Telecom took over Etisalat's West African operations comprising of its subsidiaries in Benin, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Niger, the Central African Republic and Togo. The company operates 2G GSM services over the 900 MHz band. Currently no 3G UMTS or 4G LTE services are available.

Moov Côte d’Ivoire (Oficially Atlantique Telecom Côte d'Ivoire)
Country: Côte d'Ivoire
2G Bands: 900 MHz
3G Bands: B1 (2100 MHz)
4G Bands: None
Comments: Moov is a mobile carrier operating in Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast). The company began operations in 2006 then owned by Atlantique Télécom, only to be acquired by Etisalat shortly after. In 2014 Maroc Telecom took over Etisalat's West African operations comprising of its subsidiaries in Benin, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Niger, the Central African Republic, and Togo. Maroc Telecom holds a direct 84.99% stake in Moov, with the minority shareholder not disclosed. The company operates 2G GSM services over the 900 MHz band. 3G UMTS was launched in December 2012 over B1 (2100 MHz), providing up to 21 Mbps via HSPA+ which Moov markets as "3.75G". As with all national carriers in Côte d’Ivoire, the company holds 800, 1800, and 2600 MHz licences which may be used in future to deploy LTE services.

Gabon Telecom (Officially Gabon Telecom SA)
Country: Gabon
2G Bands: 900 MHz
3G Bands: B1 (2100 MHz)
4G Bands: B3 (1800 MHz), B7 (2600 MHz), B20 (800 MHz)
Comments: Gabon Telecom is the largest telecommunications operator in Gabon. Historically a state-owned enterprise, the company was formed in June 2001 following the reorganisation of the postal and telecommunications sector. In March 1999, Gabon Telecom created Libertis, its mobile brand. In February 2007, following an international tender, the Gabonese state ceded 51% of the shares to Maroc Telecom, finalised in December 2010. Gabon Telecom has since July 2016, operated a merger with the company Atlantic Telecom Gabon (MOOV), subsidiary of the Etisalat Group. Gabon Telecom, through merger of Libertis and Moov, operates 2G GSM services over the 900 MHz band, and 3G UMTS over B1 (2100 MHz) with HSPA+ data. 4G LTE is available through the merging of Gabon Telecom's network which was launched October 2014 (and upgraded to LTE-A 223 Mbps in November 2015), and Moov's 300 Mbps LTE-A network which launched November 2016. The network implements aggregation of B3 (1800 MHz), B7 (2600 MHz), and B20 (800 MHz).