Two more telco firms await mobile licence in Oman
Oman TRA mandates Omantel to roll out remote services as part of social obligation.
Two telecommunication firms are seeking licences to offer mobile re-seller service in Oman, according to a report from the Times of Oman.
Naashiah Al Kharusi, a member of Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) Oman, said that Awasif Company is seeking a licence to offer mobile re-seller services, while Madakhil is looking to provide mobile telecommunication services for fishermen at sea.
Al Kharusi said that both the companies have completed the necessary procedures of Oman's TRA and are waiting for the final approval from the government.
The Omani telecom market is already overcrowded with two main service providers, Omantel, and Nawras, while MVNO Sama Telecom was recently awarded a full telecom licence. The country also has a number of MVNOs: Friendi Mobile, Renna, Mazoon, Injaz and Samatel, all competing to get a slice of the market.
Sama Telecom, which served as an MVNO in Oman, was awarded a full-fledged telecom operator licence to serve as the country's third operator in March this year. Sultan Qaboos bin Said, Oman's ruler, awarded a 15-year "first-grade licence" to offer "general international telecommunication services.
In another development, as stated in the Muscat Daily newspaper, the TRA of Oman has issued a mandate to the incumbent Omantel to take up a pilot project in the remote Batinah region in the country for rolling out telecom services as part of the Universal Service Obligation (USO). The government, through USO, offers licences for basic telecom services and Internet access in the remote areas of the sultanate.
It was stated that the TRA of Oman has asked Omantel to fulfil the obligation after it found there were no investors ready to take up the project.
Kharusi was quoted in Oman Daily saying: "Investors shied away from the project. While one of the local service operator was not keen on it, the other had, maybe other things to work on. Now, we have reached such a state where we have to enforce the incumbent (Omantel) to take up the USO project as we have been noticing a growing interest from the public for broadband. We are now about to enforce on the incumbent to take the project up as per the law."