Report: Market competition to drive Oman’s GSM penetration above 50% by 2008
The average monthly revenue per GSM user in Oman (ARPU) is forecasted to drastically decline to $ 20 by 2008, according to Arab Advisors Group.
As the process for Oman’s second GSM license goes underway, Omani GSM users await a whole new era. A framework for liberalizing the market is already in place and the second GSM license process is underway.
The Omani government’s efforts to privatize the country’s telecommunications services led to the legal and organizational establishment of Omantel, a government owned company) in mid-1999, which replaced the previous government-owned monopoly General Telecommunications Organization (GTO).
“Oman’s Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) and mobile markets are still monopoly markets operated by the government owned Omantel.” Arab Advisors Group’s research analyst Rania Masri wrote in a new report on the Omani telecom market. “The mobile sector is slated for liberalization this year and the TRA has already invited interested parties to submit their Expression of Interest documents for the second cellular license and the winner is expected to be announced by end of April 2004.”
“The Arab Advisors Group expects Omantel to remain the monopoly operator for fixed services until after 2005. We also project cellular revenues to exceed PSTN revenues in the coming five years as voice-based GSM services will become the growth engine in the market, replicating a very similar regional and international trend.” Masri added.
On the fixed front, Omantel’s fixed line subscribers dropped by close to two percent in 2003. Oman’s anticipated privatization of the state-owned fixed line operator followed by the expected liberalization of the PSTN market is expected to result in a modest increase in the growth in the number of PSTN subscribers in Oman, as pockets of unmet demand remain in the country.
As for the cellular segment, a major boom in the GSM subscriber base occurred in the year 2001. The subscriber base has been growing steadily ever since and has exceeded the fixed line subscriber base. The Arab Advisors Group projects Oman’s cellular penetration rate to exceed 50 percent in 2008, corresponding to more than 1.5 million subscribers. — (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)