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September 30, 2019updated 09 Dec 2021 10:00am

Oman’s third mobile network to begin operations in 2020

By Richard Thompson

UK-based Vodafone has signed a non-equity agreement with Oman Future Telecommunications (OFT) to roll out the sultanate’s third mobile telecoms network.

Operating under the Vodafone brand, the new company will develop “new services … to drive the next stage in the development of the country’s telecommunications market”, the joint statement said. The new operator is expected to begin commercial operations in the second half of 2020.

OFT is a consortium of local investment funds led by Itqan Tech Development, a subsidiary of Oman 70 Holding.

In October 2017, Oman cancelled the tender for the contract to operate its third mobile licence in favour of a team comprising its sovereign wealth funds and an undisclosed “international partner”.

UAE-based Etisalat Group, Saudi Arabia’s Saudi Telecom Company and Kuwait’s Zain submitted a bid for the contract.

Oman has two existing mobile telecoms operators – Omanmobile, a subsidiary of Oman Telecommunications (Omantel), and the Oman subsidiary of Qatar-based Ooredoo. Formerly called Nawras, Ooredoo Oman was awarded the second mobile licence in 2004.

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