Etisalat joins the race for Oman’s third MNO licence

4 May 2017

Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat) has announced that it has submitted a bid for Oman’s third mobile network operator (MNO) licence. In a statement, the UAE-based telecoms group said the offer is ‘in line with its expansion strategy considering the market potential and similarities, footprint proximity to our core market, and likely synergies’. Earlier this week it was reported that two other Middle Eastern companies – Saudi Telecom Company (STC) and Kuwait’s Zain Group – had also submitted technical and financial bids for the concession to Oman’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA). 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.