Can you elaborate on Omantel's role in the development of the Sultanate's telecommunications environment over the past two years?
Omantel has always been an enabler for businesses, governments, and societies. It has been matching its footsteps with the government's push toward an oil-independent, digital, and sustainable society by opening communication and connectivity channels via major investments in the right infrastructure. This has enabled the company to bring to individual and enterprise customers a host of flexible and customized solutions and services and enhance Oman's investment climate to attract regional and international firms. While Omantel is proud of its achievements, it believes in continued development characterized by research, innovation, investment, acquisition, and service-design to bring value-addition to all endeavors on both national and individual levels.
What are the market realities in terms of demand for services, especially in light of the third service provider entering the Omani market?
The Omani telecom market, even before the entrance of the third operator, was already a dynamic market with a lot of competition on different levels. You have Omantel and Ooredoo as main operators and a lively MVN market with brands such as Red Bull Mobile, Renna, and Friendi successfully catering to different market segments. Also on the home broadband side, with OBB providing access to fiber infrastructure to all players, the market has shown a constant growth and today almost 80% of households have a home broadband service. As both the fixed and the mobile markets are showing high penetration levels, the markets are getting near to their saturation point. At the same time, the expat population has been on a continuous decline over the past couple of years, reducing the customer base, which puts pressure on the total telecom market revenue in Oman. The arrival of the third operator will put further pressure on the revenues of all players.
How can the ICT sector play a bigger role in Oman's diversification strategy?
It is a matter of pride for Omantel to have established itself as the pioneer and leader in providing ICT solutions and services in Oman, staying true to its vision of being a one-stop shop for all customer requirements, and in the process, build a diversified economy that is powered by digital transformation. At the core of Omantel's philosophy is the constant endeavor to harness the expanding ICT potential and making it available for users so that they optimally benefit from its infinite scope of application. Omantel's ICT repertoire encompasses three broad segments: data center services, software services, and managed services. Software and managed services form the axis of Omantel's ICT solutions, as these fields give users the cutting-edge solutions and enable the digital ecosystem to grow and thrive. The company has been leading digital transformation from the front, and smart city solutions, a major component of its ICT offerings, touch the lives of people every day. Omantel is leveraging IoT to manage public facilities, safety and security, parking, streetlights, traffic management, waste management, and more. The launch of 5G services, e-government services, smart city initiatives, cybersecurity solutions, drones and anti-drone systems, data management/centers, disaster recovery services, expansion of broadband infrastructure, e-commerce, blockchain/AI/IoT solutions, and more are just a few domains where Omantel's ICT capabilities are being showcased.
How is Omantel aligning its strategy with the Vision 2040?
Omantel's strategic transformation goals are directly aligned with Vision 2040 that emphasizes on creating sustainable economic growth through innovation and development. Omantel is the Sultanate's leading integrated telecommunications services provider and its trusted digital enabler. It has almost 100% service coverage in populated areas, with high-speed internet reaching even the most remote areas. This is one aspect of digital inclusion as the internet makes everything accessible. Omantel has provided 4IR technologies such as the IoT, AI, smart cities, blockchain, and most recently, the 5G network to make communications technology more achievable, accessible, and affordable.