Regulatory review helps competition prospects in Oman
Oman possesses a technologically developed telecoms market due to investment by Oman's two telecom network operators. Omantel and Nawras have invested significantly in fixed and mobile access networks, transmission backhaul, broadband connectivity and international connectivity.
Competition is lacking in the fixed market, as evident by the incumbent's almost 90% market share. To determine the level of competition the telecoms regulator, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), completed a telecoms market competitiveness review in 2013. The report found both Omantel and Nawras were dominant in a number of telecoms market categories which encompassed fixed, data and mobile at both the wholesale and retail level. The report recommended a number of temporary regulatory measures to address the dominance of the two network operators and hence ensure a competitive market.
Broadband services are available in Oman via ADSL, Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH), WiFi, WiMAX, fixed wireless and mobile broadband. Broadband represents the majority of Internet connections and competition is predominantly infrastructure based. Mobile broadband now represents the overwhelming majority of total broadband connections. Oman has taken advantage of its geographical location to improve international Internet bandwidth and redundancy, with three new submarine cables entering service in 2012 and another one scheduled for service in 2015.
Recognising the potential of applying ICT to improve both social and economic development, Oman has taken steps to develop a knowledge-based society. Government initiatives have been instrumental in creating the online services that make up this digital economy, encompassing the areas of education, health, government administration and smart grids.
Oman's mobile market continues its role as the most dynamic telecoms sector, mobile network operators OmanTel and Nawras compete against Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO)s FRiENDi, Majan Telecom, Mazoon Mobile, Injaz Telecom and Samatel. Underpinning competition is implementation of mobile number portability, with Oman one of the first countries in the region to implement the regulatory requirement. Prepaid represents the overwhelming majority of mobile connections.
Given the mature mobile voice market, both OmanTel and Nawras have shifted their focus to mobile broadband, deploying HSPA and LTE networks. Take up has been very successful, with mobile broadband subscriptions outnumbering fixed broadband subscriptions by over 15 to 1. One of the impacts of the increased proliferation of mobile Internet and smartphones has been the falling number of SMS/MMS messages sent.
Key telecom parameters 2012; 2014
Sector | 2012 | 2014
Subscribers to telecoms services (million):
Fixed Broadband | 0.113 | 0.170
Fixed-line telephony | 0.31 | 0.33
Mobile phone | 5.3 | 6.2
Companies covered in this report include:
OmanTel, Nawras, Sultanate of Oman Television, FRiENDi, Majan Telecom, Mazoon Mobile, Injaz Telecom, Samatel.
This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Oman's telecommunications market. The report analyses the mobile, Internet, broadband, digital TV and converging media sectors.
Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
Facts, figures and statistics;
Industry and regulatory issues;
Major players, revenues, subscribers, ARPU
Mobile voice and data markets;
Broadband (FttH, DSL, wireless);
Convergence and digital media;
Broadband subscriber forecasts to 2023;