OFT, Vodafone sign partnership agreement for third mobile operator today

Oman’s third telecommunication service provider will begin its operations in 2020.

Oman Future Telecommunication (OFT), which is joined by Itqan under the umbrella of Oman 70 Holding, signed a 15-year partnership agreement with Vodafone to become a new telecom service provider in Oman, promising high-quality services with a focus on Omani skills.

Earlier today. the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) had announced that the partnership agreement for Oman’s third mobile telecom operator will be signed OFT, and the UK-based Vodafone

The announcement was made on the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC)’s Twitter account.

Earlier in May this year, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between Vodafone and a company owned by local investment funds to complete the procedures for obtaining the licence for Oman’s third mobile operator.

The statement issued by TRA clarified that “there was a signing of an MoU between the company owned by local investment funds and Vodafone as a strategic partner. The MoU has been signed to provide mobile telecommunications services in the sultanate in accordance with directives of the government in this regard.”

It added that this MoU was testament to the fact that Oman is indeed an attractive market for international and local investors.

TRA, in December 2018, had confirmed that plans for a third mobile communication operator were in the “final stages”.  Yousef bin Abdullah al Balushi, deputy CEO for spectrum management affairs at TRA, was quoted by media sources as saying that the frequencies for the third operator will be granted in the same way as with Omantel and Ooredoo. “The aim of this process is to create a competitive atmosphere to provide better services at reasonable rates for all parties,” he said at the time.

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In 2017, Oman had cancelled all bids and decided that it would be awarding the licence to a consortium of a local company and international investors in a move to boost the involvement of investment funds, allowing them to add to the national economy.

As of now, Omantel and Ooredoo are the two major players in the telecom industry with both companies having renewed their operating licences in February this year for a further 15 years, at a cost of $195m each.

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