Oman marches towards 1 million-subscriber milestone

Oman Mobile managing director Amer Awadh Al Rawas believes that mobile penetration in the sultanate could reach as high as 70% in the coming years, from a base of around 32% at the end of 2004.

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By  Tawanda Chihota Published  May 30, 2005

Oman’s mobile subscriber base is fast approaching 1 million users, with incumbent operator Oman Mobile counting 900,000 users earlier this month, and new entrant Nawras having reached the 60,000-subscriber milestone since launching commercially in the middle of March. Oman Mobile managing director Amer Awadh Al Rawas believes that mobile penetration in the sultanate could reach as high as 70% in the coming years, from a base of around 32% at the end of 2004. “Competition was good for us, good for everyone,” Al Rawas commented. “We are growing revenues while growing our subscriber base, which is something that you do not see happening everywhere,” he added. Oman Mobile was established as an independent mobile operator last February, and while still held 100% by the state operator Omantel, Oman Mobile is seeking to forge a new identity as a commercial entity rather than as a government agency. The operator’s omanisation programme has seen the number of Omani nationals rise to 91% of the workforce and the excitement generated by the operator’s newfound professional approach has seen the number of job applications to the company average 1,000 per day. “Our goal is first to establish Oman Mobile as the favourite mobile company in Oman and then extend this success regionally,” Al Rawas said. As an increasingly competitive operator, Al Rawas believes that the operator is evolving from “guarding the rules” as a government agency to “making the rules” as a commercial player.

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