STC, Zain in the running for Oman’s third MNO licence

2 May 2017

Two Middle Eastern telecoms companies – Saudi Telecom Company (STC) and Kuwait’s Zain Group – have submitted offers for Oman’s third mobile network operator (MNO) licence. Tadawul reports that STC has submitted a technical and financial bid, including an integrated business plan, to Oman’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), while Zain Group has also revealed that it made its own offer for the new concession. A shortlist of the qualified bidders is expected to be published on 14 August, with the winner scheduled to be announced on 4 September.

As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, the TRA published an Information Memorandum (IM) detailing the process for the award of the Sultanate’s third MNO licence in November last year, in a move which is aimed at improving the market’s competitive environment. The country is currently home to two MNOs, majority state-owned Oman Telecommunications Company (Omantel) and Ooredoo Oman, in which Qatari incumbent Ooredoo holds a 55% stake. In addition, two MVNOs – FRiENDi mobile and Renna Mobile – are active in the wireless sector.