Oman to get its first satellite by 2024

Oman Sunday 27/June/2021 21:29 PM
By: Times News Service
Oman to get its first satellite by 2024
Tender for OmanSat programme has been issued by the Space Communications Technology. Photo courtesy Pixabay

Muscat: A bidding process inviting companies to help design and launch Oman’s first satellite by 2024 has been launched by the government.

The tender, issued by the Space Communications Technology (SCT), deals with the procurement details of the OmanSat Satellite Programme.

SCT was founded by the government to spearhead its National Satellite Programme by building the national satellite communications infrastructure, and serving public and private telecommunication network needs.

“The company’s operational plan is based on the procurement of a High Throughput Satellite (HTS) (OmanSat-1) and associated services, providing coverage of the Sultanate’s entire territory, its economic waters, and associated external markets,” said SCT in its tender announcement. “The satellite is required to be operational by 2024.”

“SCT therefore invites satellite vendors to submit technical and commercial proposals for provision of the above services in accordance with the terms and conditions set out in the tender documents,” added the organisation.

The tender documents can be obtained by email, or by visiting the SCT’s offices near Sultan Qaboos University in Al Khoudh, between 7 am and 4 pm. Bidders are required to pay a tender fee to access all tender documents.

Eligibility criteria and a brief scope of work can be obtained from, or by sending an email to [email protected].  

Given that the project involves Oman launching its first satellite, it is considered one of high strategic importance. It is expected to provide national and regional coverage, with the primary TT&C (telemetry, tracking and command centre) located in Oman.

The satellite and associated services delivery is structured into three key elements. The first, titled the Space Segment, includes satellite launch, launch services, orbit raising services, in-orbit testing, training, internships, dynamic satellite simulators, and insurance support.

The second aspect involves the Ground Control Segment, and consists of setting up primary and back-up satellite control centres, payload control, capacity management, radio frequency and antennas, and training and support services.

In-country services, including installation and commissioning of ground control segments, and training and support services are the third aspect of services companies need to provide that are covered by the tender.

In order for companies to be considered eligible to participate in the bidding process, they must have successfully delivered at least three Ka-band HTS projects, and must have flexible satellite technologies in advanced stage of development and production, such as digital beam forming and active antennas, in order to assure in-orbit delivery of OmanSat-1 by 2024.

To be considered valid, all tender documents must be submitted before July 15. Any further clarifications must be completed before August 15, i.e., a month later. Clarifications to the SCT can be sent to [email protected].

All technical and commercial bids will be subsequently submitted before 21 September, 2021.
“In the event that the SCT considers a bidder to commercially be a potentially successful competitor for the award of the contract, SCT may subject the bidder to a further technical and financial evaluation,” said the company during its announcement. “Only when a bidder satisfies the technical, financial and commercial requirements will a contract be awarded.”