The official entry of a third operator into the local market is expected to make the existing players rework their strategies.

Vodafone, which got the licence to operate in the Sultanate of Oman, in 2019, opened its hub at Mall of Oman last week.

Speaking to the Observer, an executive said that the response has been impressive ‘as our product offering and services are in line with the fast-changing market trends and requirements.”

He added, “With Vodafone, services, including the plan selection and personal information verification, are self-activated by the customer via a mobile application. Only SIM has to be collected from the store.”

With Vodafone unveiling an offer - 77 for RO9, (77 GB of data, 777 local minutes, and 777 local SMS for 77 days), customers of other main operators are expecting the same in the coming days.

“Internet prices are very high in the Sultanate of Oman compared to other countries in the region, which should be made affordable as we get into more of online work and electronic transactions at all levels,” said Rachel, an Irish expatriate.

According to Hassan Arafat, “We just hope that market will be flooded with promotions without compromise on services as the economy gets digitalized.”

"At Vodafone Oman, we believe that enhancing connection and digitalization for a better future is one of our main purposes. Step-by-step, we aim to position ourselves as pioneers of digital innovation and sustainable growth within the Sultanate of Oman," Engineer Bader bin Saud al Zidi, CEO of Vodafone in the Sultanate of Oman, told the media.

Vodafone will provide services through 3,500 authorized distributors and a comprehensive network.

According to market analysts, Vodafone, with a market presence in Europe, Qatar, Africa, and Asia Pacific either through subsidiary undertakings, joint ventures, or associated undertakings and investments,” is expected to raise the level of quality of telecom services provided in the country.

The government initiated the bid for a new mobile operator to improve communication services, generate fresh job opportunities for Omanis, and enhance the country’s GDP.

“There will be some pressure on pricing of products with the arrival of the third mobile operator,” a top official of one of the two existing operators told the Observer.

According to Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRA), the regulators do not determine tariffs for various services under the free market system.

As for tariffs, TRA said its role is to review, approve or reject proposals submitted by licensees before they are put on the market.

While evaluating the tariff proposals, TRA considers the consumers' interest and the need to maintain the sustainability of the competition.

According to the latest statistics, the country has nearly 1.2 million postpaid and 4 .7 million prepaid mobile subscribers.

For various reasons, there has been a drop of 8.9 per cent in the number of prepaid subscribers. Not to forget the broadband home internet subscribers.

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