The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Oman (TRA) has released details of the next phase of deregulation of the country’s telecoms markets. It is to introduce Class II licences, covering ISP services, value added services and resale services. A spokesman for the TRA said that the process would be a gradual one in order not to disturb the market. The deregulation will enable start-up operators to purchase chunks of airtime from dominant operators and repackage and sell them on to end users. The regulator stopped short of saying when the new licences would be finalised.
Oman’s cellular sector was liberalised in March 2005 with the launch of cellco Nawras ending state-owned Oman Mobile’s monopoly. However Oman Mobile’s parent company Omantel is still the sole operator in the fixed line market. In May 2006 the government announced its intention to entirely deregulate the telecoms sector including fixed line and internet, but has yet to specify when this will occur.