Omantel and Ooredoo will soon have another competitor in the telecoms market after it was revealed this week that the licensing process for a third operator has been initiated.
The latest announcement is part of several market reforms that are planned for 2016 and the decision to introduce another operator was made by HE Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed al Futaisi, Minister of Transport and Communications. The aim is to boost competition in the telecoms sector and provide consumers with more options when it comes to selecting a provider.
Omantel currently dominates the mobile network market with a 59 per cent share and also holds the majority when it comes to fixed-lines.
Other planned modifications to the market include the introduction of Omantel TV+, an Internet Protocol Television service that gives subscribers access to more than 450 TV channels from around the world, 1,100 movies and 3,500 TV series, as well as the ability to pause, rewind and record what they are viewing.
The fibre optic broadband network is also set for expansion, with the goal of providing high-speed internet to 60 per cent of Muscat’s households by the end of the year, transforming the capital into a smart city.
Currently, internet penetration in Oman is just 66.5 per cent, putting the Sultanate some way behind GCC neighbours Bahrain, the UAE and Qatar, where penetration is 94 per cent, 88 per cent and 85.3 per cent respectively. Oman is ahead of Saudi Arabia however, where internet penetration stands at 60.5 per cent.