Fibre-optics network coverage to reach 99% in Muscat in three years

Oman Monday 27/November/2023 20:42 PM
Fibre-optics network coverage to reach 99% in Muscat in three years

Muscat: Oman Broadband Company (OBB) provides and maintain a broadband infrastructure for main telecommunication service providers in the Sultanate of Oman.

Eng. Sultan Ahmed Al Wahaibi, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of OBB pointed out that the company is committed to expanding and enhancing the broadband infrastructure, thus providing people with access to high-speed internet.

He added that OBB achieved significant progress in expanding the fiber-optics network in the governorates of Oman and contributing to local development.

The CEO of OBB said that the units covered with fibre-optics network of Oman Broadband in all governorates reached 735,000 units as of September 2023.

The units are divided into 387,528 units in the Governorate of Muscat, and 322,995 units outside Muscat.

Al Wahaibi noted that the total number of subscribers is reached 255,886. Oman Broadband is expected to cover more than 99 percent of units in Muscat, and about 50 percent outside Muscat during the next three years.

OBB’s investments and movable assets, he added, have increased to over OMR276 million since its establishments in 2014.

The company also succeeded in establishing infrastructure used by all licensed telecommunications operators in Oman, along with other initiatives through which it has been keen to support and empower Omani youth through the fulfilment of programmes, such as ‘Tamkeen’ (Empowerment).

Al Wahaibi said, “At Oman Broadband Company, and in accordance with a comprehensive strategic vision, we have taken it upon ourselves to empower small and medium enterprises. This is achieved by assigning several projects directly or indirectly to entrepreneurs with expertise in our field. The value of projects directly assigned to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) has reached over OMR43 million. Moreover, Omansiation in the company reached to 99 percent, which amounts to more than 200 Omani employees in all specialties.”

“Along with Omanisation, the company is keen to involve employees in various training programmes to convey their expertise to young people wishing to receive training and practical experience. The company’s contribution to training and qualification opportunities has reached more than 760 training opportunities, including those offered by the ‘Tamkeen’ programme to new graduates and job seekers.

Initial Public Offering
Regarding the Initial Public Offering (IPO), Al Wahaibi commented that “The company is willing to start an IPO in order to increase the company’s public property base, providing liquidity for planned expansions requiring further continuous modernisation as an element of attracting foreign investment to Oman, as well as offering savings tools to shareholders, which will support the country’s plans to promote financial inclusion.

The IPO arrangements are under way, AlWahaibi added, mentioning that as a preliminary step before the IPO, the company has witnessed the acquisition of Oman Infrastructure Investments Fund ‘Rakiza’ on 39 percent of ITHCA Group shares in OBB.

Before the end of this year, a partial exit of approximately 10 percent to 26 percent will take place, depending on the ability to finalize negotiations with other investors.

This will help to enhance the confidence of investors and shareholders, as well as strengthening the private sector’s contribution in Oman Broadband.

The company’s team continues its efforts towards expanding its network in all governorates, as the company aims to reach new areas in the next phase.

Moreover, the company is conducted the ‘Affaq’ project which is an initiative implemented by Oman Broadband Company in cooperation with the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA).

This project is designed to provide coverage to 600 rural villages across different governorates in the Sultanate of Oman, utilising satellite connectivity for their integration, Al Wahaibi said.