Nawras Telecom Consortium wins tender for second mobile licence in Oman
The Tender Board in Oman Monday announced that the Nawras Telecom Consortium formed by Qtel together with TDC and Omani partners, won the public tender for the second mobile licence in Oman.
This is the first licence Qtel has won tender outside Qatar.
Sheikh Abdulla Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al Thani, the Chairman of Qtel, stated “Our success in winning this license and being chosen in the face of high-level competition really puts Qtel on the international map and is testament to the Qturn transformation process we kicked off in 2002. We shall be investing significant funding into this new business and most importantly we shall be playing an active role in the management. We look forward to creating an outstandingly successful new operator in Oman and to making further announcements on our international expansion in the next couple of years.”
Qtel won this licence against a particularly strong international competition of 28 consortia including Vodafone and Orange as well as the elite of the regional operators with MTC and Cable & Wireless/Batelco. Qtel is contributing two of their senior management team with many years of mobile and start-up experience as the CEO and COO of Nawras Telecom, and TDC will be providing many extremely experienced and knowledgeable mobile and telecommunications experts to form part of the senior management team.
“Our Omani partners bring national expertise and knowledge and will also help to deliver our commitment to Oman allowing the benefits of the value creation to be felt widely throughout Omani society. Nawras Telecom has committed to a fast network launch and aims to cover 60% of the Omani population for launch after the first 6 months following the licence award. In practice Nawras Telecom will provide national coverage at launch through national roaming arrangements with Omantel. We have also committed to a significant training programme intended to maximise Omanization over the first 5 years of the company's existence,” said Dr. Nasser Marafih, CEO of Qtel.
In order to cover 60% of the population within 6 months from licence award Nawras Telecom will be building approximately 160 base stations primarily in Muscat and Salalah. Nawras Telecom intends that 12 months following the licence award population coverage will have been increased to 80% and by the end of 2006 95% of the population will be covered.
Total investment during the first 10 years will be over USD1.7 billion, of which USD195 million will be committed in the first two years. In addition Nawras Telecom will be paying the Oman government a once off payment of Omani Rials 40 million which is approximately USD104 million for the licence.
“We are confident that this is an exceptional opportunity for Qtel which will prove to be fruitful for all our stakeholders. With Oman’s population of close to 2.5 million, and with the current GSM usage much lower than other countries in the region (only 25% of the population), there is enormous scope for increasing the overall mobile penetration including for Nawras.
“We are sure that our combined expertise, knowledge and technological know-how will help us to build our customer base in Oman to match or even surpass GSM subscriber levels in the rest of the GCC,” continued Qtel CEO Dr. Nasser Marafih.
Henning Dyremose, CEO of TDC said “We are very pleased that our collaboration with Qtel is already bearing fruit and we are delighted to be contributing significantly to the success of this venture. TDC is bringing in a team of experts who will be able to contribute fast with their experience from building in 11 other markets including mountainous environments like Oman such as Switzerland and Austria.” (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)