Renewed efforts to improve broadband infrastructure in Oman
Internet access is mostly obtained via mobile broadband services in Oman. However there has been a recent and renewed push towards improving fixed broadband infrastructure - particularly fibre-based networks. In terms of the mobile market; mobile voice has reached saturation and the focus has shifted to the mobile broadband services underpinned by the launch of HSPA and LTE networks.
As part of it National Broadband Strategy, Oman Broadband Company (OBC) has enabled access to fibre networks for around 70,000 residential and commercial businesses around Muscat. By 2040 it hopes to have all homes and businesses connected to its national broadband infrastructure. Omantel and Ooredoo Oman are given access to this infrastructure and, along with their own fibre infrastructure efforts, are beginning to extend the network further to create fibre-to-the-home.
In the mean time, Oman citizens enjoy access to a well established mobile sector. Improvements to 4G infrastructure are underway with both operators; Omantel (Oman Mobile) and Ooredoo Oman recently acquiring spectrum in the 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz spectrum bands in order to continue expansion plans throughout the country. LTE services have been available in Oman since 2012.
The progressive Oman telecoms market has not gone unnoticed by the international community and it is becoming increasingly attractive to foreign investors. This is assisted by the government recently revising and establishing laws to make Oman's industries more competitive by reducing monopolistic and dominating behaviours.
Overall Oman's telecommunications sector offers a positive market which is exhibiting growth. Further developments along the lines of cloud technology, mobile broadband and M2M are emerging as its infrastructure is strengthened on the back of fibre and mobile network upgrades and expansion.
Key telecom parameters 2012; 2015 Sector | 2012 | 2015 Subscribers to telecoms services (million): (e) Fixed Broadband | 0.08 | 0.22 Fixed-line telephony | 0.30 | 0.39 Mobile phone | 5.28 | 6.80 (Source: BuddeComm based on ITU)
The recent approval of the Competition and Anti-Monopoly Law, as well as the amendments made to the existing Consumer Protection Law is expected to encourage foreign investors to Oman.
Smart cities, including smart infrastructure, is a component of Oman's eTransformation Plan.
The streaming music service, Apple Music became available in Oman during July 2015.
Consumer confidence in online shopping in Oman is improving as a result of the introduction of secure e-payment systems.
Companies covered in this report include:
OmanTel, Ooredoo Oman, Oman Broadband Company (OBC), FRiENDi, Majan Telecom (Renna), Samatel.