In order to “strengthen the internet connection in the country”, the Mauritanian government is planning the imminent launch of an internet cable that will cross the Moroccan Sahara according to Mauritanian sources. The aim being to strengthen the cableAfrican Coast to Europe (ACE)to which the country was connected in 2011 and on which it mainly relies for high-speed internet services.
Since the change of name of the Moroccan company from Mauritel SA to Moov Mauritel, this project has been put on the table. Currently, Maroc Telecom is in full negotiation with Mauritania in order to implement this internet cable, with a width of 1,600 km, which will cross the Moroccan Sahara in the direction of Mauritania.
If this project is carried out, it is an implicit recognition by Nouakchott of Moroccan sovereignty in the Sahara, according to the Mauritanian analyst Yacoub Ould Cheikh Sidiya, quoted by the Mauritanian media.
The analyst explains that the internet cable, which apparently exceeds the capabilities of the telecommunications company “Moov Mauritel“, was rejected by the presidents Ely Ould Mohamed Vall, Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi and Mohamed Ould Abdelaziz, but apparently accepted by the current president Mohamed Ould Ghazouani, underlines the analyst.
On strike because of the precarious situation of the Moroccan group, Moov Mauritel, the employees tell the press that the company has taken an interest in internet cable and has invested in it, despite the demands of the workers.
In details, the cable will reach the El Guerguerat breach, located in the extreme south-west of Moroccan territory, about 50 kilometers from the Mauritanian city of Nouadhibou, explains the local press, noting that the completion of the project was initially planned. for the next year. But the dates were slightly changed without giving reasons. So far, Nouakchott has not made an official statement about this internet cable.
For Mauritel SA (now Moov Mauritel), this is the historic Mauritanian operator, born of the split in 1999 from the Post and Telecommunications Office. In 2000, Mauritel SA created Mauritel Mobiles, of which it held 100% and which obtained the second operating license for a GSM-type mobile telephone network.
Following an international call for tenders launched by the Mauritanian government on April 12, 2001, Maroc Telecom acquired 54% of the capital of Mauritel SA. Subsequently, the Maroc Telecom group created, in January 2002, the Mauritanian Communication Company (CMC), to which it contributed the shares it held in Mauritel SA.
But not only ! In June 2002, Maroc Telecom sold 20% of CMC to Mauritanian investors, while during the 2003 financial year, CMC sold 3% of Mauritel SA in Morocco for 17 million dirhams in accordance with commitments made during the privatization in 2001.
As regards the construction contract for the ACE (Africa Coast to Europe) cable, it was signed in June 2010 by Moov Mauritel. It is a 17,000 kilometer submarine cable that connects France and South Africa and runs along the coasts of several African countries and belongs to a consortium of 20 operators, led by France Telecom. Note that Moov Mauritel will soon complete its fiber optic connection to Morocco and Mali.
Still with regard to Mauritel, and at the end of December 2021, the group had a fixed base of 57,000 lines, with no increase compared to 2020, and is deploying an ADSL and FTTH network, enabling it to sell very high speed internet offers. to its customers. At the same time, Mauritel had some 19,000 Internet subscribers, connected mainly via the ADSL network (94% of the park).
The Mauritanian market had, as of September 2021, 4.7 million mobile customers, i.e. a penetration rate of 99.10%. In this market, two operators act jointly with Mauritel, namely the Société Mauritano-Tunisienne de Télécommunications (Mattel) and the operator Chinguitel. Mauritel alone has at least 3 million customers as of December 31, 2021, an annual increase of 13% despite aggressive competition and regulatory restrictions related to customer identification.