Saturday, 23 Nov 2019 | 26 Rabi Al Awwal 1441
Telecom Regulatory Authority proposes higher percentage of holding in MVNOs by host operators

Telecom Regulatory Authority proposes larger percentage of holding in MVNOs by host operators

The authority also desires to assess if mobile resellers or MVNOs will continue to play a part in the marketplace providing competitors to mobile network operators and what can be completed to foster a lengthy-term connection among MVNOs and host operators (viz. Oman Mobile and Ooredoo).

TRA has issued a public consultation looking for responses from stakeholders by August five.

According to TRA, the present licences issued to the mobile resellers has a proviso that restricts owning of shares of the licensee by the host operator. “TRA would like to propose amending this provision permitting a larger percentage of holding of the host operator in MVNO, in order to foster a lengthy-term connection paving way for continued and sustained efforts among the entities to help 1 an additional.

“The authority feels that such a proposal will sustain the MVNO business on a long-term basis and incentivise the host network operators to reach out to customer segments that they traditionally ignore for commercial considerations (high overhead costs). The primary intention is to achieve synergies of operations between the entities who right now may be operating with a confrontation perspective and bring them to a supportive relationship. Hence, a more secure method of ensuring sustenance of the businesses of MVNOs could be through structuring the ownership and management control.”

Oman issued mobile reseller (MR) licences (Class II) in 2008 to six organizations as a measure to market competitors in the marketplace, which at that time had two significant network operators viz. Oman Mobile (Omantel) and Nawras (now Ooredoo).

One amongst the six Class II licensees for the mobile resale did not conclude any agreement and chose to surrender its licence. Of the 5 MR licensees (FRiENDi, Renna, Injaz, Mazoon and Samatel), Mazoon and Injaz chose to exit the marketplace and surrendered their licences in 2012 and 2013 respectively.

“FRiENDi and Renna in spite of their initial years of losses performed reasonably well acquiring significant subscriber base and making profits as well. Samatel was acquired by TeO in 2014 (another licensee in the telecom sector) who later took over Renna’s operations (in 2016) as well. After acquiring Renna, TeO closed the erstwhile Samatel mobile resale business.”

The present mobile resale situation consists of FRiENDi and Renna. Together they have a marketplace share of 17 per cent in terms of quantity of subscribers (2017 statistics).

Information Source: Muscat Daily

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