Telecoms operators have until 16 September to file their bids, and Oman’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) expects to finish evaluating all submissions by 22 October.

The authority has not disclosed the names of the companies that have qualified for bidding.

The new licence will break Omantel’s monopoly of fixed-line telephony services, including broadband internet services to homes and businesses.

Oman’s Finance Ministry is simultaneously auctioning a 25 per cent stake in Omantel, which is currently 70 per cent owned by the government, to a strategic investor.

The ministry has yet to confirm whether the successful bidder for the strategic stake will gain management control of the company (MEED 22:8:08).