Arab Advisors Group
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Competition-induced growth will drive Oman’s GSM penetration to over 50% by 2008.
Tuesday, February 10, 2004

As the process for Oman’s second GSM license goes underway, Omani GSM users await a whole new era. A new comprehensive country report from the Arab Advisors Group expects average monthly revenue per user (ARPU) to drastically decline to US$ 20 by 2008.

February 10, 2004 -

The Omani government’s efforts to privatize the country’s telecommunications services led to the legal and organizational establishment of Omantel (a government owned company) in mid-1999, which replaced the previous government-owned monopoly General Telecommunications Organization (GTO). Moreover, a framework for liberalizing the market is already in place and the second GSM license process is underway.

A new comprehensive report, “Oman Communications Projections Report 2004” was released to Arab Advisors Group (www.arabadvisors.com) Strategic Research Service subscribers on February 10, 2004. The 61-pages report, which has over 44 detailed exhibits on the market, analyses the Omani fixed line and cellular landscape, the reglator and the legal landscape, details the preliminary license conditions and fully profiles and researches OmanTel, the monopoly operator in Oman. This report can be purchased from Arab Advisors Group for only US$ 850. Any investment in this report will count towards a Strategic Research Service subscription should the service be acquired within three months from purchasing the report. Purchasing the report also entails the ability to attend the Arab Advisors Group’s Media and Telecommunications Convergence Conference in June 2004 in Amman. http://www.arabadvisors.com/Convergence2004/schedule.htm
Please contact the Arab Advisors Group to receive the report’s Table of Contents.

“Oman’s Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) and mobile markets are still monopoly markets operated by the government owned Omantel.” Rania Masri, Arab Advisors Group’s research analyst, wrote in the report. “The mobile sector is slated for liberalization this year and the TRA has already invited interested parties to submit their Expression of Interest documents for the second cellular license and the winner is expected to be announced by end of April 2004. The Arab Advisors Group expects Omantel to remain the monopoly operator for fixed services until after 2005. We also project cellular revenues to exceed PSTN revenues in the coming five years as voice-based GSM services will become the growth engine in the market, replicating a very similar regional and international trend.” Ms. Masri added.

On the fixed front, In 2003, Omantel’s fixed line subscribers dropped by close to 2% in 2003. Oman’s anticipated privatization of the state-owned fixed line operator followed by the expected liberalization of the PSTN market is expected to result in a modest increase in the growth in the number of PSTN subscribers in Oman, as pockets of unmet demand remain in the country.

As for the cellular segment, a major boom in the GSM subscriber base occurred in the year 2001. The subscriber base has been growing steadily ever since and has exceeded the fixed line subscriber base. The Arab Advisors Group projects Oman’s cellular penetration rate to exceed 50% in 2008, corresponding to more than 1.5 million subscribers.

The Arab Advisors Group’s team of analysts in the region has already produced more than 220 reports on the Arab World’s communications and media markets. The reports can be purchased individually or received through an annual subscription to Arab Advisors Group’s (www.arabadvisors.com) Strategic Research Services (Media and Telecom). To date, Arab Advisors Group has served more than 100 global and regional companies by providing reliable research analysis and forecasts of Arab communications markets to these clients.

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