Oman eyes space, plans satellite project

MUSCAT: The Sultanate is all set to embark on a satellite programme.
The Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC), in cooperation with the State General Reserve Fund (SGRF), will establish a “space communication company” that will take necessary measures to implement the project.
“Technical/ contracting works have been transferred to a new company which has already started carrying out studies, including developing a strategic implementation plan, to meet the needs of the Sultanate in relation to satellite communications,” said Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed al Futaisi, Minister of Transport and Communications.
The study is likely to be completed by second quarter of this year.
Meanwhile, MoTC on Wednesday announced the establishment of the Omani Information Technology and Communications Group, an entity owned by SGRF.
It will consist of Oman Broadband Company, Oman Towers Company, Blockchain Company, Space Communication Technologies Company, and other information technology and communication firms that may be established by the government in partnership with the private sector.
Dr Al Futaisi said the group aims at creating an investment arm for the government in partnership with the private sector to implement the Fourth Industrial Revolution initiatives. The group, he said, will provide strategic and financial subsidy.

He said the works of the group have been divided into four fields: information technology and communications infrastructure and platforms; cybersecurity; building digital economy by establishing specialised companies and national capacities to provide smart applications such as Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, robotics and blockchain; and setting up excellence centre specialised in development and investment in SMEs.
The ministry has also established Oman Global Logistic Group (Asyad) and Oman Aviation Group. Each sector has a group that includes all companies in the sector in which the government has a holding.
This will reduce financial costs, enhance revenues and create more opportunities for job-seekers. — ONA