Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 04/10/2014 -- Oman's telecoms markets are developing rapidly, with demand for data and value added services the fastest area of growth. Wireless data services have seen the strongest growth in terms of dedicated and voice and data subscriptions. Demand for smartphones has boosted subscription growth, while improved international connectivity is at the same time driving down the cost of services and deepening the market Total subscriptions are also continuing to increase, with opportunities existing due to continued population growth. However, saturation will ultimately be reached over the medium term and we therefore expect operators to shift their strategy towards upselling higher value services to existing customers to sustain revenue growth.
- Mobile subscriptions increased to 5.546mn in Q313, a penetration of 153.1%.
- Operators are under pressure from IP substitution of SMS services in favour of Whatsapp, Viber and other services. SMS volumes were down 46.7% y-o-y to 566mn in Q213.
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Key Trends And Developments
Oman is a relatively liberalised market by regional standards, but it could move even further ahead of its peers with the privatisation of some its stake in incumbent operator Omantel. On September 17 2013, Oman's government announced plans to sell a 19% stake in Omantel, with Bank Muscat advising the sale. The stake is valued at about OMR221mn (US$575mn) based on the company's current market value. The Omani government currently owns a 70% stake in Omantel and would retain a 51% stake in the operator after this round of privatisation. The sale should introduce investment and expertise into the market, which would be particularly beneficial for the development of the wireline segment.
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