As a third operator prepares to enter the country, old players and new are scrambling to assess their chances, update their networks, and retain as much of their customer base as possible.

Ian Dench

CEO, Ooredoo

There is a thirst for digitization to further condense the huge amounts of information now available into manageable chunks. We know that life and the digital economy are driven by smartphones, which we all own. Ooredoo's brand focus is all about internet experience leadership and having great connectivity at the heart of the digital economy. It is about moving into the self-care and app-driven world. After all, business is increasingly conducted through an app. It depends what country you are in now, but whether it is Uber, Airbnb, Amazon, or Ebay, everything can be driven through a smartphone. This is what is driving our strategy and satisfying this demand for ever-increasing amounts of data and making sure the experience is something unique. It is about having a great network, great coverage, and great speed, particularly for video. It is also about providing affordable data plans for the internet for as long as possible.


Raed Haddadin

CEO, Renna Mobile

Oman has an excellent tool with MVNOs today, and Omantel can use these to compete with a third operator. Renna Mobile can try to protect its low-end segment of the market from the third operator while Omantel competes with Ooredoo and the third operator in the corporate, post-paid, and high-end segments. Ooredoo will be more affected by a third operator because it will have to compete across every segment. Oman is a tough country in terms of coverage, so a new operator will not be able to cover Oman from day one. High-end customers will want to stay with Omantel because it has good coverage, and they want that reliability, while Renna Mobile will continue to dominate at the lower end. Whereas in the past we were growing, we now want to maintain our position and optimize as much as possible. We have a strategic relationship with our partner Omantel with whom we will work against a third operator.


Darren Tong

CEO, Telecom Oman (TeO)

Our purchase of Renna Mobile was always a means to an end to position ourselves as a key participant in Oman's incoming third operator. We have now accomplished this after TeO's acquisition of a significant stake in our preferred 3rd Mobile Network Operator (3MNO) Consortium. In the meantime, we have been speaking to every significant stakeholder to prepare TeO and its affiliates for the introduction of any 3MNO, whether we win it or otherwise. Our collective experience and capabilities in mobile, OTT, and international wholesale telecoms in coordination with selected partners will still enable us to present strong alternatives in the market. Our consortium has the right mix of private and government entities and the right mindset and prior experience to make 3MNO a success. We have also submitted a bid document that carefully lays out our long-term plans for Oman, with particular focus on service coverage, quality, and customer service. I am cautiously optimistic.


Honed Tunkiwala

General Manager, Access Technologies & Services

Recent developments have been dynamic, challenging, and good for business. The telecom sector is always going to be in the loop: 3G was launched, 4G was launched, and we are closer to the next generation. Operators are already looking at positive revenues from data contracts, and mobile penetration is nearing 150% in Oman, unlike the early days of telephony, when a family shared a single fixed line. What is more, operators' volumes and revenues have increased because of data; with this revenue they are spending more and expanding more. Access has good business volumes from operators and vendors, and there are some new tenders in the process of finalization. The next quarter seems to be good for us. We also welcome the third operator, as it will bring new business for us. Subscribers are going to have more options, prices will get more aggressive, and services will improve as each operator tries to increase it.


Ali Al-Lawati

CEO, Nasma Telecommunications

When we did our planning for 2016, we saw that the crisis was already happening and that everyone would start looking more at how to save rather than how to expand. Therefore, we started targeting areas where we could reduce staff while still keeping the momentum going and not affecting the customer. We also reduced overheads in other areas such as storage and selling stock that we had held onto for a long time and had purchased at a low price. Then, we focused on technology and solutions. Automation, IT, and digitization help in terms of reducing costs. When you increase automation and digitization, you can reduce manpower or processes and you can utilize your budget in new ways. When you have been working on a process a certain way for 10 years, it is not easy to change in one day. Especially in the government sector, it is not easy to eliminate positions.


Abdul Monem Al-Futaisi

COO, Awasr

In order for the country to achieve our vision for 2020, Oman needs to undergo a digital transformation, and Awasr intends to be at the forefront of that. We have agreed upon a partnership with the international solutions company SAP to deliver the HANA Enterprise Cloud, which will serve companies of all sizes in different sectors, especially SMEs with fully fledged software solutions, customized for their every need. From managing a small boutique operation to running a large shipping port, HANA will deliver the right systems to improve operational efficiency and drive productivity. SAP is also helping us develop and put in place predictive technology for infrastructure in order to maximize productivity and response-effectiveness. With HANA, we are capable of helping the government create a digital cabinet and start modernizing Oman's infrastructure and services such as water distribution systems, traffic lights, fire prevention, and to help predict problems before they happen by leveraging business intelligence provided by SAP.


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