Oman is demonstrating progress in both mobile and fixed telecoms segments

As part of it National Broadband Strategy, Oman Broadband Company (OBC) hopes to have all homes and businesses connected to its national broadband infrastructure by 2040.
Oman has established a progressive mobile sector which has substantial coverage of both 3G and 4G LTE networks. While significant 5G developments are not expected until at least 2020; there have been trials already conducted.

Mobile broadband subscriptions are still in a growth stage and the two major mobile operators, Omantel and Ooredoo Oman are competitive, partly in response to the rise of MVNOs.

A third mobile network operator (MNO) license was up for tender throughout 2017 and four operators had expressed an interest in bidding for the license. However, in October 2017, the government announced the tender process had been cancelled. It was reported the license would be awarded to a local consortium instead.

There has also been a recent and renewed push towards improving fixed broadband infrastructure for Oman – especially fibre-based networks. The fibre-optic service provider, Asawr, was partially acquired in early 2018 and this will allow for fresh investment in its high-speed network.

Oman is well positioned to be a technology hub in the Middle East as it is well located between Asia, Africa and Europe and has access to several submarine cable systems. For these reasons, Equinix, one of the largest data centre operators in the world selected to partner with Omantel in mid-2018 and jointly build a new data centre in Oman.

Key developments:

  • The mobile sector in Oman has become more and more competitive in recent years, due to both the market becoming saturated as well as the rise of MVNOs.
  • There was a third mobile network operator (MNO) license up for tender in Oman in 2017, which was subsequently cancelled.
  • VoIP subscriptions are on the rise in Oman.

Companies mentioned in this report include:

Oman Telecommunications Company (Omantel); Oman Mobile; Ooredoo Oman; Oman Broadband Company (OBC); FRiENDi, Majan Telecom (Renna); Integrated Telecommunications Oman (TeO); Awasr-Oman.

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