The government of Oman has put on hold a plan to offload a 25% share in incumbent telecoms operator Omantel, the country’s economy minister, Ahmad Bin Abdul Nabi Macki, was quoted as saying by UAE-based newspaper Gulf News. Omantel, which provides nationwide fixed line and mobile services in the Sultanate, is 70%-owned by the state, with the remaining 30% held by private investors. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the Omani government first announced a plan to sell a 25% stake in Omantel in July 2008, with the aim of boosting the firm’s competitive position. In mid-October 2008 it was confirmed that eight unidentified parties had been selected to participate in the second phase of the sale process, with Saudi Telecom Company (STC), Indian operator Bharti Airtel and the UAE’s Etisalat rumoured to be potential bidders. However, in late December 2008 the government cancelled the sale, blaming ‘unprecedented market volatility and economic conditions.’ In January 2010 the government had said it may revive its plan to sell a stake in Omantel, once the global market recovers.