Maroc Telecom, the leading telecoms operator in Morocco, is planning to launch a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) in Europe, starting with Belgium and France, reported the French daily Les Echos. This operation will be launched “in the coming months,” said Les Echos, quoting a spokesperson of the Moroccan operator.

Maroc Telecom is currently negotiating in France with SFR, a subsidiary of Vivendi Universal, which controls the Moroccan operator (51%). The French newspaper said that, for this purpose, the company has been associated with the Moroccan group Saham and hired Cyril Ferrachat, who was responsible for the services and content of SFR's website.

It also added that Maroc Telecom is considering investment in a number of African countries, including the privatisation of national operators in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, and Gabon, as well as the third mobile licence on offer in Egypt. Maroc Telecom said earlier this year that its net income in 2005 rose to MAD 5.809 billion (USD 633.6 million), registering an increase of 12%, compared to 2004. The company also expects a rise in operating profit (12-14%) and in sales (6-8%) in 2006. It has been listed on the Casablanca and Paris stock exchanges since Dec. 2004.

Morocco Times