Oman Mobile offers 30% tariff discount

Having added over 20,000 subscribers in its first four weeks of commercial operations, Nawras believes its customer focus is a winning formula.

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By  Tawanda Chihota Published  April 16, 2005

In a sign that competition has truly begun to take hold in Oman, Oman Mobile has announced a new tariff called Mada, which offers savings of up to 30% on existing post-paid call rates. The tariff offers multiple plans based on usage, while talk time and SMS are included in all but the basic plan and rates are applicable from the first minute. The move follows the entry of a mobile competitor, Nawras, into the Omani mobile sector on March 16, a development that has seen both operators introduce customer-oriented products in a bid to build market share. Having added over 20,000 subscribers in its first four weeks of commercial operations, Nawras believes its customer focus is a winning formula. “What have we done for Oman? We have brought choice. We have redefined what you buy and where you buy it, how to start and where to use it,” comments Ross Cormack, Nawras’ CEO. “Subscriber growth is going very nicely at the moment,” Cormack adds, with a smile. There are now 450 points of sale across Oman, compared to less than forty when Oman Mobile was the sole mobile provider in the sultanate, and Cormack believes that the presence of the second operator will only help improve the value proposition for end-users. Nawras’ network is entirely EDGE-capable, having already deployed 180 base stations, with Ericsson as the turnkey provider. Nawras has a deal in place with incumbent telco Omantel for access to the latter’s backbone fibre network, which Cormack credits as being of the highest quality. The operator is also in the final stages of negotiating a national roaming agreement, whereby Nawras subscribers will still be able to use their phones outside of Nawras coverage areas, and such an arrangement should be formalised before the end of the first half of this year. Mobile penetration in Oman stood at approximately 25% at the end of 2004, a figure that Cormack sees growing to between 70-75% within the next 4-5 years. “Our plan is to earn as high a percentage stake of this growth as is possible,” Cormack comments. He estimates that 20-25% of Oman’s total subscriber base was post-paid when Nawras launched services, though he believes going forward, up to 90% of subscriber additions will be prepaid. As such, Nawras has entered the market with three main tariffs that are aimed at appealing to all user groups in the market, particularly prepaid or first-time mobile users.

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