The acronym IAM of Maroc Telecom comes from its original Arabic name Ittisalat Al Maghrib. The name "Maroc Telecom" was adopted later for better international recognizability.
In 1967, Morocco placed the first underwater cable between Tetouan, Morocco, and Perpignan, France, through the Mediterranean. A few years later, in 1970, a transmission via INTELSAT was introduced. The Telex service was then automated in 1971 just before installing a digital center in Fes. The Internet was introduced in Morocco by ONPT in 1995. Although, the service remains usually slow, with Maroc Telecom, typically less than half, and sometimes only a tenth, of promised Internet speeds of up to 20 Mbit/s.
On 20 February 2001 the Moroccan government sold 35% of Maroc Telecom's shares to French mass media company Vivendi. The transaction amounted to 23 Billion dirhams. On 4 January 2005 Vivendi acquired an additional 16% for 12.4 billion dirhams raising its participation to 51%. In October 2007, the CDG ceded, via its subsidiary Filpar Holding, 2% of Maroc Telecom to Vivendi in exchange of 0.6% of Vivendi's shares, putting the total shares owned by Vivendi to 53%.