A strategic partner agreement of the third mobile operator in Oman was signed on Thursday with operations set to begin in 2020.
The agreement between Oman Future Telecommunications (OFT) and the British company Vodafone will help provide all essential services for the establishment of the new company, including the use of the brand, technical support and knowledge during the 15-year contract.
Under this partnership, the third operator will join the Vodafone Global Partnership Program, which will help consumers benefit from diversified promotion packages and special services from the company.
OFT, who was responsible for the efforts to attract the best international brands in the telecom sectors, selected Vodafone for its vast experience and presence in a number of countries around the world. Vodafone will not own a stake in the company.
Itqan Technical Development Company, a subsidiary of Oman 70 Holding, led the business alliance to establish the third telecom operator, which includes a number of government pension and investment funds as well as private investors.
Following the signing of the strategic partnership agreement with Vodafone, the Board of Directors of the new company will be formed as per the license requirements of the third license from the TRA.
Fahad bin Abdulaziz al Busaidi, a representative of Itqan Technical Development Company, said, “Oman Future Communications Company (OFT), through its strategic partnership with Vodafone, will provide high-quality communications services following a customer-centric strategy and that the company’s operations will start in 2020.”
“Vodafone will deliver the best in innovation and expertise to the Sultanate of Oman. “We will build Vodafone Oman to provide the best customer experience possible. The launch of Vodafone Oman will be delivered by a joint team of Vodafone and Omani employees. Training the Omani employees will be the main focus of our partnership.”
Dr Ahmed Al Futaisi, Minister of Transport and Communications (MOTC welcomed the global company, Vodafone, as a strategic partner of the third mobile operator with Oman Future Communications Company under the name Vodafone Oman, a new stage of growth, competitiveness, giving more options to beneficiaries, and career opportunities for young people.”
The agreement was signed by Fahad bin Abdulaziz Al Busaidi and Diego Mesida, CEO of Global Markets, Vodafone.
Diego Mesida said that Vodafone will deliver the best in innovation and expertise to the Sultanate of Oman.
In May this year, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) had confirmed that ‘an MOU was signed between a company owned by the local investment funds and Vodafone.
The agreements are in line with the directives of the government and affirm that Oman is an attractive market for international and local investors, which will also enhance the scope of competition.
Vodafone has a significant market presence in Europe, the Middle East (Qatar), Africa, and Asia Pacific either through its subsidiary undertakings, joint ventures or associated undertakings and investments.
It also holds partnership agreements in big markets such as Russia, Argentina and Canada.
TRA had said earlier that all domains and frequencies for the third operator will be granted the same way as Omantel and Ooredoo.
“The objective of the process is to create a competitive atmosphere to provide better services at reasonable rates.”
The bid for a new mobile operator was initiated by the government to improve communication services and generate fresh job opportunities for Omanis and enhance the country’s GDP.
“There will be some pressure on pricing of products with the arrival of the third mobile operator,” a top official of one of the two licensed telecom operators told the Observer.
“Data prices in Oman are said to be expensive compared to some emerging markets of Asia and neighboring countries. With businesses and government utilities depending on technologies, we hope with the entry of a third operator, prices, and efficiency will get some attention,” said Mustafa al Balushi, a senior IT executive based in Oman.