Oman’s OHI Telecommunications Company has submitted the low bid for a project to develop new telecoms towers to improve the network of the state-controlled Oman Telecommunications Company (Omantel).

Omantel received 13 bids for the project by the 4 april deadline. The project covers the design, supply and installation of telecom towers, monopoles and construction of boundary walls.

OHI bid OR994,371 ($2.5m) to complete the project. The second lowest bid was from Jawad Sultan Technologies with OR4.9m ($12.7m).

Other bidders included Tawoos Power & Telecommunications, which submitted three bids, Omania E-commerce, Oman Fiber Optic Co, National Telephone Services Co, Europles Middle East, and Bahwan Projects & Telecoms, all local; the UAE’s Detonator Trading Company, the UK’s Technical Supplies International Co, and India’s Kadevi Industries Limited with Oman National Engineering & Investment.

Omantel is 70 per cent owned by the government. The mobile phone market is extremely saturated in Oman, with penetration rates at 160 per cent, meaning their are more SIM cards than there are people in Oman. Fixed-line internet penetration is lower at 42 per cent. Investment bank Rasmala predicts a flat revenue growth for Omantel in 2011 because of the rising market share from competitor Nawras and the mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) in the country. The operators in Oman are likely to see growth in demand for data services mainly through mobile broadband.

Revenues increased 1 per cent year-on-year for the financial year 2010, to reach OR416.6m, but net profit fell 11 per cent from OR125.2m to OR112m.