Sudatel Telecom Group has announced that it has submitted a bid for Oman’s third mobile network operator (MNO) licence, stating that the move is in line with its policy ‘to enter new markets with potential growth’. In a statement published on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, Sudatel said its submitted bid includes a comprehensive technical plan and a financial offer for the licence. The company, which has operations in Sudan, Senegal, Guinea and Mauritania, noted that adding Oman to its footprint would strengthen its strategic role in connecting Africa and the Middle East to the rest of the world, and supports its commitment to growing its business to meet increasing demand for telecoms services across the region.
Earlier this month it was reported that three Middle Eastern companies – Saudi Telecom Company (STC), Kuwait’s Zain Group and UAE-based Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat) – had also submitted technical and financial bids for the concession to the Sultanate’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA). A shortlist of the qualified bidders is expected to be published on 14 August, with the winner scheduled to be announced on 4 September. The country is currently home to two MNOs, majority state-owned Oman Telecommunications Company (Omantel) and Ooredoo Oman, in which Qatari incumbent Ooredoo holds a 55% stake. In addition, two MVNOs – FRiENDi mobile and Renna Mobile – are active in the wireless sector.
In a separate announcement, Sudatel has reported total operating revenues of USD122.7 million for the three months ended 31 March 2017, an increase of 5.2% from USD116.6 million in the year-ago period. Gross profit rose from USD42.1 million to USD51.7 million over the same timeframe, while net profit almost doubled to USD10.5 million in Q1 2017 from USD5.3 million twelve months previously.