Oman's Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has recently held a meeting with the international telecom operators and consortiums which were qualified to enter the next phase of the bidding for the integrated fixed public telecom licence in the Sultanate. The meeting was chaired by Mohammed bin Nasser Al Khasibi, chairman of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority. Welcoming the representatives, Al Khasibi said the open bid for the integrated fixed public telecom license was the latest in a series of steps taken by the government towards the liberalization of the telecom industry in Oman. The new telecom license, he added, would contribute to the further development of the telecom sector.
The meeting was an opportunity for the shortlisted candidates to meet with the Chairman and Members of the TRA. The participants were also given a detailed overview of the license award and procedures related to the next phase of the bidding. Also discussed were licensing guidelines set by the TRA.
Bids submitted by the companies will be evaluated by October 22 and the successful bidder named before the end of the month. The license covers the provision of local and international fixed services, establishment of infrastructure for national and international services, radio frequencies for broadband, submarine communication cables, and transmission stations in the Sultanate.
The licenses include local and international communications services, as well as, national and international infrastructure that include radio frequencies for the broad band, marine communication cables and transmission stations in the Sultanate.
The license with the exception of broadband spectrum rights is for a period of 25 years with the ability to renew it on expiry of the original term. Broadband spectrum Rights shall be for fifteen years with ability to renew for an additional 10 years on expiry of the original term. A minimal upfront fee of R.O. 500,000.
It is noteworthy that the Sultanate of Oman has a population of around 2.75 million, with fixed-line phone penetration of just 10%, and Internet and broadband penetration of only 3%.