Nawras reveals fixed line plan
Oman set to gain second fixed line network after final issuance of licence
Oman’s second telecom operator Nawras said it plans to launch fixed line services by the end of the year, using a combination of fixed and wireless infrastructure.
Nawras, which already operates 2G and 3G mobile services throughout Oman, won the licence to set up the country’s second fixed line operation in November 2008, but was waiting for a Royal Decree for the final issuance of the licence, which was announced yesterday.
“The deployment of a fixed network has already started,” Ross Cormack, CEO, Nawras told CommsMEA. “We will invest a large amount of money into deploying a nationwide fibre backbone as well as fibre access to some business and residential areas.”
“Furthermore, we will deploy wireless technologies, among others WiMAX, to provide voice and data access to our customers. Our fixed network will also consist of some new infrastructure, allowing us to terminate our own voice and data traffic internationally, independently of the incumbent operator in Oman.”
Cormack added that Nawras, which is a division of Qatar’s incumbent operator Qtel, has already started to “expand the organisation” and recruit fixed line specialists for the deployment of the network.
In the first phase of the roll out, Nawras intends to focus on improving internet-based services, which the company views as being particularly important to its business and consumer customers. Cormack added that Nawras will also launch “certain voice-related services” in the first phase of deployment.
In the second phase, Nawras will consider launching bundled offerings incorporating voice and data, according to Cormack.
Nawras, which has gained some 1.6 million mobile customers since its launch in 2005, will compete with Oman’s incumbent operator Omantel.