Oman kicks off strategy to procure first national satellite

A landmark initiative to procure Oman’s first national satellite programme has formally commenced with the government inviting qualified international consultancy firms to bid for a contract to provide financial and technical advisory services linked to the implementation of this strategic project.

The initiative is being spearheaded by Space Communications Technology LLC (SCT), a wholly government-owned entity established with the mandate to develop and implement the Sultanate’s maiden satellite communications project.

A key part of its remit is to build national satellite communications infrastructure and develop the required capabilities to serve the immediate to long-term telecommunications needs of the public and private sectors.

Muscat-headquartered SCT’s foremost mission is to launch Oman’s first satellite by 2023/2024.  The proposed orbital slot enjoys a vantage location offering good visibility with high elevation angles for the desired footprint.  The satellite itself will incorporate the latest technologies and will be built by leading players in the satellite construction industry.

“This project is considered as one of the strategic projects that Oman is planning, namely, to launch the first national satellite system with national, regional and global coverage, however with the primary TT&C (telemetry, tracking, and control subsystem) to be located in Oman,” the agency said.

STC’s “operational plan is based on the rental of a large capacity that meets all the requirements of the Sultanate with high technical features through coverage of the Sultanate’s entire territory and its economic waters with faster high throughput data,” it noted.

It aims to provide state-of-the-art products based on the latest technologies of satellite frequency bands on High Throughput Satellites (HTS), with the latest reliable, scalable, and flexible baseband platforms.

All types of satellite services are proposed to be provided to all vertical markets via the 9m Ka band antenna, collocated in Al Amerat Teleport, with access to one of the biggest terrestrial networks in Oman. This encompasses the range from consumer broadband all the way to High Throughput IP trunking services.

Interested consultants have until June 24, 2020, to submit their technical and commercial bids. Bidders must have proven experience in the delivery of at least two projects in orbital slots and three projects of satellite tender process support, among other qualifications.