Arab Advisors Group
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Oman’s Internet and datacomm market gears up for competition.
Tuesday, January 3, 2006

The Internet and datacomm market in the Sultanate of Oman is awaiting major transformation with the expected introduction of competition by early 2007. Following the liberalization of the cellular sector, the Omani telecom market is set for an ear of reinvigorated growth.

The Omantel Group is currently the sole provider of licensed public fixed, Internet and data telecommunications services in Oman and, together with the Second Mobile Operator, one of only two licensed public mobile telecommunications service providers in Oman.

Following the introduction of a second operator into the Omani cellular market, the TRA has been studying the liberalization of the fixed line and the Internet and Datacomm markets. The authority made supply and demand studies (concluded in October 2005) for all the aforementioned markets, to assess the number of licenses to be issued and the timeline to be followed. The Arab Advisors Group expects the competition in the fixed line, Internet and Datacomm markets to start in early 2007.

A new report, “Oman Internet and Datacomm Landscape” was released to the Arab Advisors Group’s Telecoms Strategic Research Service subscribers on December 29, 2005. This report can be purchased from the Arab Advisors Group for only US$ 950. The 48-page report, which has 35 detailed exhibits, provides a detailed analysis of the Omani Internet and datacomm markets and profiles the monopoly operator in the Sultanate, Omantel. The report includes 5-year historical and 5-year projections on Internet uptake and revenues. The report provides, moreover, a detailed and comprehensive picture on the Internet market strategies and regulations, e-commerce, and online content and services landscape. Please contact the Arab Advisors Group to get a copy of the reports Table of Contents.

“The Internet penetration in Oman is relatively low, when compared to neighboring GCC countries. By the end of September 2005, the penetration stood at around 3.1%. This penetration figure was the reflection of 78,000 subscribers reached by the end of the first nine months of 2005.,” Mr. Andrawes Snobar, Arab Advisors Senior Research Analyst wrote in the report. “The Arab Advisors Group forecasts that the Internet subscribers growth will be spurred by competition. Subscribers are projected to grow at a CAGR of 21.5% between 2005 and 2009, concluding the year 2009 with 185,000 Internet subscribers. Omantel’s Internet revenues have been growing gradually over the past few years. By the end of 2004, the Internet revenues stood at almost US$20 million, up from a little bit more than US$14 million in 2002. In line with increasing subscriber numbers and adoption of broadband services, the Arab Advisors Group projects the Omani Internet revenues to continue growing between 2005 and 2009. This growth is expected to be driven by the existence of more than one player in the market and by the increased adoption of broadband Internet. The Arab Advisors Group projects the blended monthly Internet ARPU to gradually drop (at a CAGR of -11.2% from 2005 to 2009), to reach US$22 by end of 2009.” Mr. Andrawes added.

The Arab Advisors Group’s team of analysts in the region has already produced over close to 500 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 over 330 global and regional companies by providing reliable research analysis and forecasts of Arab communications markets to these clients.

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