The telecoms sector in Oman has potential for growth. New competitors are being allowed to enter the market, a move that is expected to drive larger and deeper changes in the industry. Although both fixed-line and mobile telecoms penetration levels are low, mobile subscriber growth has increased rapidly since a second mobile operator entered the market. Strong growth rates have also been recorded in the broadband market as the incumbent operator gets ready to face increasing competition. The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) is commited to develop the telecom sector in the Sultanate of Oman by regulating the telecom services.
Oman is heavily dependent on its dwindling oil resources, which generate 84% of government revenue. The state has limited foreign assets and is issuing debt to cover its deficit.
Oman is using enhanced oil recovery techniques to boost production and has actively pursued a development plan that focuses on diversification, industrialization, and privatization, with the objective of reducing the oil sector’s contribution to GDP from 46% at present to 9% by 2020. Tourism and gas-based industries are key components of the government’s diversification strategy.
Muscat also is focused on creating more jobs to employ the rising number of Omanis entering the workforce.
Increases in social welfare benefits, however, particularly since the Arab Spring, dating to 2011, have challenged the government’s ability to effectively balance its budget, as oil prices decline. Omani officials intend to reduce social entitlements to cut the deficit but have faced stiff public opposition to spending cuts, hindering their implementation.