News, views and contacts from the global telecommunications industry

Maroc Telecom GSM Network Expansion, Morocco

Key Data

In August 2001 Motorola signed a $47 million network infrastructure expansion deal with Maroc Telecom, a leading Morocco Mobile Operator, to expand its GSM mobile network. The network extension was completed in March 2002.


Motorola was contracted to provide the new generation of Horizon macro GSM 900Mhz base stations for the popular tourist regions of Marrakech and Agadir in the southern part of Morocco, as well as in the northern cities of Tangier, Tetouan, Fes, Meknes, Casablanca and El Jadida. The deal, which is an extension of Motorola's existing business with Maroc Telecom, means that Motorola continues as a major base station supplier to Maroc Telecom's GSM mobile network.

The extension is indicative of the growing demand for wireless services throughout the Middle East and Africa. The trend is expected to continue as network operators, such as Maroc Telecom, prepare for entry into GPRS services and solutions for their customers.

This was the second expansion contract awarded by Maroc Telecom to Motorola in twelve months, and further reinforces the successful partnership which began six years ago when the network went into commercial service. The contract covered expansion and evolution of Maroc Telecom's GSM 900MHz network.

The delivery is on a turnkey basis. Turnkey services - including site acquisition, installation, integration and network optimisation - are provided by a team of digital wireless network operating system professionals.


For wide area coverage, the GSM solution provides macrocellular coverage from transceivers that are link balanced to increase performance. Its small size, easy expansion capability and readiness for the new mobile data General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) and dual band (GSM 900/1,800MHz) implementation provide flexibility for the future.

For areas of high subscriber density, the GSM solution answers a number of coverage issues in both new and expanding networks by providing focused coverage. For example, a single micro base station can be deployed to provide urban infill coverage and can be linked to provide a contiguous microcellular layer providing greater network coverage and capacity.


Coverage solutions provided with the GSM system include wide area, focused and in-building coverage products. Scaleable, upgradeable and flexible coverage solutions allow for cost efficient network growth. Transmission solutions are to be installed for economical network expansion. Advanced operability and performance engineering software tools provide quality coverage throughout each phase of network growth.


The Extended Range Cell feature can increase a macrocell's area of coverage by up to ten times. For a small investment, this can present a significant revenue opportunity by providing coverage to subscribers located beyond the range of normal cells, such as offshore communities and inshore shipping.

This feature offers the capability to extend the maximum cell radius up to 120km, allowing an increase in coverage of ten times over a normal range cell. It simplifies frequency planning, in fact a single carrier unit can be configured to support both normal and extended range channels. It allows cost savings, enabling a reduction in the number of cell sites required in those areas where coverage, as opposed to capacity, is the key driver. Finally it increases revenue, for example by extending coverage in coastal areas, delivering cellular service to vessels travelling outside of the normal range.


The Horizon macro base station is currently the world's smallest six-carrier GSM BTS. It provides macrocellular coverage from tranceivers that are link balanced for optimum performance. Its small size, easy expansion capability and readiness for GPRS and Dualband implementation provide flexibility for the future. Its features include a single or dualband configuration, GPRS ready, flexible installation, indoor or outdoor cabinets and expansion for up to 24 carriers.