The Sultanate of Oman (Oman) is a rising global telecoms hub in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.
The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) of Oman was established in 2002, to liberalize and promote the telecommunications services in the Sultanate under the Telecommunications Act.
As of 2020, the TRA has issued 4 Class I International Gateway licenses to Omantel, Nawras (now Ooredoo Oman), SamaTel (now Telecom Oman, or TeO) and Connect Arabia (known as FRiENDi). However, Only Omantel and Ooredoo Oman are operating submarine cables in Oman. There are now three broadband service providers in Oman, including Omantel, Ooredoo Oman and Awasr. And there are now five mobile operators in Oman, including Omantel, Ooredoo Oman, FRiENDi, Renna Mobile, Redbull Mobile, the latter three are Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs).
Omantel is the incumbent telecom operator in Oman, 70% owned by Omani Government and 30% by public.
Ooredoo Oman, formerly known as Nawras, a subsidiary of Qatar Telecom Group (Qtel) which was rebranded as Ooredoo in 2013.
Sama Telecommunications (Samatel) launched MVNO service in Oman in August 2010, obtained Class I International Gateway license in 2011. In February 2015, Smatel was rebranded and reluanched its MVNO service as TeO (Integrated Telecommunications Oman, or Telecom Oman), and acquired the country’s first MVNO, Renna Mobile, in June 2016.
Connect Arabia is operated as FRiENDi Mobile, launched MVNO service in Oman in April 2009, as the first MVNO in the region, and the 3rd largest mobile service provider in Oman. FRiENDi is part of Virgin Mobile Middle East and Africa.
Redbull Mobile launched MVNO service in Oman in April 2019 under the license of Majan Leading Telecommunication LLC which was established in 2012 in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman.
Omantel and Ooredoo Oman are licensed to operate submarine cables in Oman.
Omantel operates the following submarine cable landing stations:
Omantel is the landing party in Marseille (France) for the AAE-1 cable system.
In addition to cable landing stations, Omantel has partnered with Equinix to operate a carrier-neutral data center Equinix MC1 in Barka, near Muscat—the capital of Oman. Equinix MC1 is the first world-class, carrier-neutral hub in Oman where carriers, content providers and cloud providers can colocate critical IT infrastructure.
Ooredoo Oman operates one submarine cable landing station: