Mauritanian incumbent Mauritel - bought by Maroc Telecom in 2001 - has just announced its annual results which show a turnover of 9.7 billion dirhams in the first half year of 2005. These results must be disappointing for Maroc Telecom as it has invested 434 MDH since its acquired the company.

And this performance is in a market where it has 70% of the overall market: 39,000 fixed lines and 415,000 mobile subscribers, with the latter now reaching 20% of the population. However if these figures are to continue to grow, it still has much to do in terms of infrastructure. In the period for which the results were announced, it invested 90 MDH. However tariffs remain high and this is a cause of some considerable resentment locally. However Mauritel Mobiles commercial strategy remains hampered by the fact that low incomes in Mauritania mean that there is a very low level of post-pay subscribers.

However, Maroc Telecom remains interested in opportunities in other parts of Africa. As the President of Maroc Telecom said:"We will take the decision to invest in Africa based on the criteria of operational control. The projects will have to be creators of value for the shareholders of Maroc Telecom."

Le Matin