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Oman - Telecoms, Mobile & Broadband


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The Oman - Telecoms, Mobile & Broadband report includes all BuddeComm research data and analysis on this country. Covering trends and developments in telecommunications, mobile, internet, broadband, infrastructure and regulation. Please review the Executive Summary and Table of Contents for more details.


One of the six GCC countries, Oman has a GDP per capita at a similar level to that of Saudi Arabia but with a much smaller population. Its mobile penetration is also very similar to that of Saudi Arabia. The telecoms market as a whole has been much less competitive but things are about to get more interesting.

Incumbent Omantel has had a monopoly of all fixed-line and Internet access services. In November 2008 alternative mobile operator Nawras, 55.6% owned by Qtel of Qatar, won a 25-year licence to build and operate domestic and international services, together with submarine cables and transmission stations. The licence also includes spectrum rights, valid for 15 years and possibly renewable for a further 10 years, to provide wireless broadband. Nawras will pay the same 7% royalties as does Omantel and was required to pay a one-time fee of OMR500,000.

Nawras has said it plans to build a latest generation fibre optic backbone across the country, in conjunction with WiMAX networks, and a new international gateway. However, its first priority for the two years to 2010 is to roll out its wireless broadband services.

Possibly linked to the lack of competition in the market, fixed-line penetration is low, even by regional standards, at only 10%. Internet user penetration is also low and ADSL broadband penetration is less than 2%.

The mobile sector is more exciting. Omantel and Nawras have roughly equal shares of the market but may find the ongoing environment challenging. Oman is the first country in the region to launch MVNOs. Five licences were awarded in June 2008 and in April 2009 Connect Arabia’s FRiENDI became the first operating MVNO in the Middle East. It was closely followed in May 2009 by Majan Telecom’s Renna. Both operators are targeted at the expatriate population with low recharge amounts and competitive international rates. Connect Arabia also partnered two radio stations to launch a second brand, ‘Halafoni’, in July 2009, this time targeted at young nationals and other Arabic speakers, with an emphasis on downloadable content. All MVNOs operate on Omantel’s network.

Oman was also earlier than most countries in the region to introduce mobile number portability, in August 2006.

The more competitive mobile market and the low broadband penetration rates may provide an opening for mobile broadband services through HSPA. Both mobile operators have launched services and have marketed them strongly with numerous special offers. Researcher:- Tine Lewis

1. Executive summary
2. Key statistics
3. Telecommunications market
3.1 Overview of Oman’s telecom market
4. Regulatory environment
4.1 Background
4.2 Regulatory authority
4.3 Telecom sector liberalisation in Oman
4.3.1 ISP licences
4.3.2 Royalties
4.3.3 Second fixed-line licence
4.4 Privatisation
4.4.1 Omantel restructure
4.4.2 IPO sale 2005
4.4.3 Share sale 2008
4.5 Interconnect
4.6 Number Portability (NP)
4.7 VoIP
5. Fixed network operator in Oman
5.1 Oman Telecommunications Company (Omantel)
6. Telecommunications infrastructure
6.1 National telecom network
6.1.1 Wireless Local Loop (WLL)
6.1.2 Alternative infrastructure
6.2 International infrastructure
6.2.1 Submarine cable networks
6.2.2 Satellite networks
7. Fixed Line services
7.1 Prepaid and postpaid fixed-line services
8. Broadband and Internet market
8.1 Internet overview
8.1.1 Internet statistics
8.2 Leased lines
8.3 Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
8.4 Wireless broadband
8.4.1 WiFi
8.4.2 Mobile broadband
9. Digital economy
9.1 Overview
9.1.1 Knowledge Oasis Muscat
9.1.2 Telemedicine centre
9.1.3 E-learning
9.1.4 E-commerce
9.1.5 E-government
9.2 Overview of broadcasting market
10. Mobile communications
10.1 Overview of Oman’s mobile market
10.1.1 Mobile statistics
10.2 Regulatory issues
10.2.1 Second mobile licence
10.2.2 Reseller/MVNO licences
10.3 Mobile technologies
10.3.1 Analogue
10.3.2 Digital
10.3.3 Third generation (3G)
10.4 Major mobile operators
10.4.1 Oman Mobile Telecommunications (OMTC)
10.4.2 -Nawras Telecom (Omani-Qatari Telecommunications Company)
10.5 MVNO operators
10.5.1 Connect Arabia/FRiENDi Teleco/Halafoni
10.5.2 Majan Telecom/Renna
10.6 Mobile voice services
10.6.1 Prepaid
10.6.2 Satellite mobile
10.7 Mobile data services
10.7.1 Short Message Service (SMS)
10.7.2 Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
10.7.3 Wireless Application Protocol (WAP)
10.7.4 General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)
10.7.5 Enhanced Data for GSM Evolution (EDGE)
10.7.6 High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA)
10.7.7 Push-to-talk
10.7.8 BlackBerry
11. Related reports
Table 1 - Country statistics Oman - 2008
Table 2 - Telephone network statistics - May 2009
Table 3 - Internet user statistics - May 2009
Table 4 - Broadband statistics - May 2009
Table 5 - Mobile statistics - May 2009
Table 6 - National telecommunications authority
Table 7 - Omantel fixed-line ARPU - 2003 - 2008
Table 8 - Omantel financial data - 2003 - 2008
Table 9 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1995 - 2009
Table 10 - Postpaid and prepaid fixed-line subscribers - 2005 - 2009
Table 11 - Internet users and penetration estimates - 1998 - 2009
Table 12 - Internet subscribers - 2000 - 2009
Table 13 - Internet sector ARPU - 2005 - 2009
Table 14 - Leased line subscribers - 2004 - 2009
Table 15 - ADSL subscribers - 2005 - 2009
Table 16 - Mobile subscribers and penetration - 1994 - 2009
Table 17 - Mobile operators, subscribers and annual change - 2008
Table 18 - Subscribers and market share by mobile operator - 2005 - 2008
Table 19 - Mobile sector total revenues and ARPU - 2005 - 2009
Table 20 - 3G subscribers as a percentage of total subscribers - 2007 - 2008
Table 21 - Omantel mobile ARPU - 2002 - 2003; 2005 - 2008
Table 22 - Nawras pre and postpaid ARPU and annual revenue - 2007 - 2009
Table 23 - Total prepaid and postpaid subscribers - 2005 - 2009
Table 24 - Nawras prepaid and postpaid subscribers - 2007 - 2009
Table 25 - SMS messages sent - 2006 - 2009

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