Oman seeks new licensees

4 Mar 2008

Oman’s Telecoms Regulatory Authority (TRA) is inviting firms to submit proposals for a second fixed line licence and a third mobile phone concession, reports Reuters. Potential candidates have until 1 April 2008 to register their interest with the TRA. The new wireline licence will end the monopoly of incumbent Oman Telecoms Company (Omantel), which is 70%-owned by the government. A sell-off of 30% of the state’s holding to a long-term investor is planned for later this year. In the cellular arena, a third permit holder will be in competition with Oman Mobile, a subsidiary of Omantel, and Nawras Mobile, in which Qatar’s Qtel owns 70%. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database Oman had over 2.3 million mobile subscribers at the end of September 2007, with Oman Mobile and Nawras taking respective market shares of 62% and 38%.