Oman Telecommunications Company (Omantel), the Sultanate’s incumbent telecoms operator, has announced its preliminary unaudited financial results for the first quarter of 2017, reporting revenue of OMR132.6 million (USD343.5 million), a decline of 1.0% from OMR133.9 million in the year-ago period. EBITDA totalled OMR68.8 million for the first three months ended 31 March 2017, down by 4.7% from OMR72.2 million in 1Q16, while net profit dropped 31.6% year-on-year to OMR23.8 million. Omantel partly attributed the fall in net profit to a rise in royalty rates; effective from 1 January 2017 the Omani government increased the fee payable by telecoms operators from 7% of gross annual revenues to 12%. Omantel paid royalty fees of OMR14.6 million in the first quarter of this year, compared to OMR8.2 million in the corresponding period of 2016.
In a separate development, Omantel has expanded its fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) services to Al Ghubra and Azaiba, two suburbs of the capital Muscat, writes Times of Oman. The firm’s fibre rollout has been facilitated by a partnership with Oman Broadband Company (OBC), a state-owned company responsible for the construction and operation of national broadband infrastructure, which is available to licensed telecoms operators on a non-discriminatory basis.