Chinese supplier Huawei Technologies has won a contract to build a 3G mobile network for state-owned incumbent Omantel’s cellular arm, Oman Mobile. Huawei submitted the lowest bid in the tender, of OMR17.7 million (USD46 million), to build the network for the larger of Oman’s cellcos. The Chinese vendor beat off competition from Nokia Siemens Networks, which bid OMR77 million, and Swedish outfit Ericsson, which offered OMR56 milliom.
Oman Mobile is one of the few cellcos in the Middle East yet to build a 3G network. Rival Nawras piloted UMTS services in selected cities as long ago as April 2006 but has yet to embark on a nationwide rollout. It is currently trialling 3.5G high speed downlink packet access (HSDPA) in the capital Muscat.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, Oman was home to over 2.3 million mobile users at the end of September 2007, around 62% of whom took a service from Oman Mobile.