The local Abu Hani is the low bidder for a contract which project sources describe as one of the largest ever to be let by Oman Telecommunications Company (Omantel).

Bids were invited for the contract, which covers installation and operation of a new payphone system, in January (MEED 21:1:00, Tenders).

Project sources remain unclear about when the package will be awarded, pointing to the combined management of the tender by Omantel and the Tender Board as a possible cause for the delay. The UK’s Chorleywood Consulting is adviser for the contract.

The package covers supply, installation and operation and maintenance (O&M) of 5,000 new euro-chip smart card payphones, with booths. In addition, the contractor will supply smart cards for use in the phones, introduce a payphone management system, and install interface equipment to link up the payphones with cellular telephones. The initial contract period is one year, and the O&M period 10 years.

The existing locally-supplied magnetic card phones were installed by the UK’s GPT Payphone Systems (Marconi) 10 years ago. The company is still supplying cards for them.

Omantel payphone bidders (RO million)

Abu Hani , local 4.7 Khimji Ramdas, local 8.0

Zubair Telecoms, local 8.9

Middle East Telecoms, local 9.7

Telecommunications Consultancy India 11.2

Alfa Information Systems, local 11.5

BT Teleconsult of the UK 11.9

Suhail & Saud Bahwan, local 12.1

Al-Madina Development & Supply 13.1

Company, local Al-Waleed Office Systems, local 15.8

Schlumberger Gulf Services, local 16.7

ABR Jordan Telecom 19.5

GPT Payphone Systems (Marconi) of the UK 25.3

Exchange rate: $1=RO 0.385