Omantel to invest $218.6m in its network in 2012

Omani incumbent plans to invest 20% of its revenue in its network
Omantel plans to step up its investment in Oman in 2012.
Omantel plans to step up its investment in Oman in 2012.


Oman Telecommunications Co (Omantel) has announced plans to invest OR84m ($218.6m) in its network in 2012, according to local media.

The state-backed company said it ploughed a similar amount into the network in 2011, and it wanted to maintain a steady investment going forward, the Muscat Daily reported.

“In 2011, we invested OR84mn in capital investments on the network,” CEO Amer al Rawas said at a press conference.

“In 2012, it will be about the same. We are trying to keep it to 20% of revenue.”

Rawas added that he was not worried about the impact of GCC roaming rates, which were slashed by 50% earlier this month as regulators tried to bring costs in line with those in developed markets.

In Oman, rates were reduced to 106bz/min for calls made within the country visited and 255bz/min for those made to GCC countries.

A report by ratings agency Moody's Investors Service said it expected the measures to have a negative impact on all telecoms operators in the region, resulting in further margin compression in the operators' domestic markets.

But the Omantel CEO said he expected the move to affect other companies more than his own.

“In terms of profitability, companies with call rates that are way above GCC rates will be affected,” he said. “Our rates are closer to GCC rates, so we will be the least affected.”

Omantel was the first telecommunications company to be launched in Oman and is the main provider of internet services in the Gulf state.

The company, which is 70% owned by the government, reported a 10.3% rise in fourth-quarter net profit earlier this month, beating forecasts after its subscriber base grew.

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