Oman’s second national telecoms operator Nawras is preparing to launch wireline services in the second half of the year, breaking the monopoly currently held by incumbent state-owned telco Oman Telecommunications Company (Omantel). Nawras, which has provided mobile services in the Sultanate since March 2005, is in the process of rolling out a 5,000km next generation network (NGN) across Oman, 1,500km of which has already been installed. At the same time, the company is constructing WiMAX base stations to take its high speed broadband service into homes and residences nationwide. Nawras plans to offer fixed broadband services to more than 54% of the population at launch and hopes to increase the figure to 81% by mid-2011. ‘We are looking forward to delighting our customers with our pleasingly different fixed services including fast Nawras broadband for homes and offices,’ noted Tore Solberg, CCO at Nawras, adding, ‘We know that there are many customers waiting to be served with the reliable technology and excellent quality that Nawras fixed services will offer and we will be ready to deliver this very soon.’ According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Nawras is owned by Qatar Telecom (Qtel, 55%), Denmark’s TDC (15%) and several Omani investors (30%). The company received its licence to provide fixed, data and international telecoms services by Royal Decree 34/2009 in June 2009.