PCCW consortium wins fixed licence in Oman
Oman’s regulator has granted a fixed-line telecoms licence to a consortium consisting of PCCW International and Awaser Oman Co.
The licence is valid in the greater Muscat area, home to approximately 2.8 million people, and will allow the consortium to provide fixed-line data and voice services for 25 years.
Muscat is strategically positioned on the Arabian Sea and plays host to a landing station of the 39,000km SeaMeWe-3 cable linking between Europe and Asia-Pacific.
It is believed that the entrance of the new player will put pressure on existing operators Omantel and Qtel subsidiary Nawras. In June 2012 the country’s fixed broadband market was split 62% to 38% between the two operators.
Fixed service uptake has been significantly slower than wireless in the Sultanate, with only 95,000 broadband subscribers estimated in June, compared to nearly 4.5 million mobile subscribers, according to TeleGeography.
There has however been 56.8% growth recorded in the broadband sector in the last 12 months, according to the research firm.
ARPU in the fixed internet sector is also high at $83.30 in the second quarter, according to Reuters.