Oman’s incumbent telecoms operator Omantel has said it is on track to invest a total of OMR75 million (USD195 million) this year, mainly on the expansion of its 3.5G network and the migration of customers to an IP-based next generation network (NGN). The Times of Oman reports that the company has already invested around OMR45 million, with a further OMR30 million planned for the fourth quarter of 2010. According to Omantel’s CEO Amer Al Rawas, the company, which is 70%-owned by the state and the remainder by private investors, has built a total of 759 3.5G base station transceivers in the last 18 months. He revealed that the operator has recently changed business strategy and is now focusing on retaining market value share by encouraging existing customers to use more services, rather than taking on more marginal customers. Rawas also noted that the future growth area for the company is broadband internet services: ‘Broadband is the growth area for most telecommunications companies around the world. We want to build a strong base in broadband,’ he stated. At 30 September 2010 Omantel recorded a total fixed and mobile broadband subscriber base of 201,000 users, of which 156,000 were mobile broadband users.