While Morocco's GSM penetration exceeded 40% in 2005, some 80% of GSM users are still using payphones for national calls. A new Arab Advisors Group major survey of GSM users across Morocco avails deep insights into the usage habits of this predominately prepaid market. The survey revealed that while a substantial portion of GSM users in Morocco (47.1%) use the GSM service for International calls, a larger number prefer to use a payphone.

As Morocco prepares to award new 3G cellular licenses in 2006, the upcoming cellular operators, and the GSM incumbents, must address the low usage levels of prepaid GSM users in the country to enhance the prospects of success. The average monthly minutes of usage for prepaid GSM users in Morocco is less than 20 minutes compared to more than 350 minutes for GSM postpaid users.

"Inducing more traffic on the cellular networks is a must for new and existing operators in Morocco" Andrawes Snobar, Arab Advisors Sr. Research Analyst commented. "At less than 20 minutes per month, Prepaid GSM usage is very low in the country. The survey revealed that a majority of GSM users still use the payphone services. As such, the onus is on the existing operators and the new operators to increase the traffic on the GSM networks through traffic migration from the fixed networks as well as inducing more traffic".

Arab Advisors Group's major analytical survey of Morocco's main cities' population was scientifically done. The survey involved face to face interviews with 700 respondents from different households in Grand Casablanca, Rabat/Sale, Agadir, Marrakech, Tangir/Tetouan, and Fass, selected randomly in a manner proportionate to the population size of the different areas. Respondents were above 15 years old, and were GSM service users. This random survey is of the current GSM users in Morocco, and not the total population of the country. Morocco's GSM penetration stood at 40.8% by end of 2005.

"The results of the survey revealed that only 15.1% of all respondents had changed their mobile operator before. This survey also revealed that a majority of users believe that the service of the existing GSM operators are good to very good." Mirna Sunna, Arab Advisors research analyst commented.

Still, the survey revealed that 37% of GSM users would consider switching their current mobile operator if a new operator is available in the market with another 28.6% may consider changing operators. Their decision to change would depend on better rates and packages (74.7%), and better quality of service (73.6%).

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