By George Bevir
Published December 22, 2009
The CEO of Oman telecom operator Nawras said he was shocked by the regulator's decision to fine the operator for failing to conclude an agreement with one of the firms awarded a reseller licence.
Earlier this week, Nawras was fined OR100,000 (US$260,000) by Oman's telecommunications regulatory authority (TRA) after Injaz International Telecom Company complained that Nawras had refused to conclude an agreement to provide resale services.
"The decision came as a complete surprise to Nawras and we are still trying to determine the basis on which the decision has been made by the TRA," said Ross Cormack, Nawras CEO.
Oman was the first country in the Middle East to award licences that allow firms to resell the services of the country's two network operators and establish themselves as mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs).
Two of the licensees, Friendi and Renna, signed wholesale deals with Oman Mobile and launched in the first half of the year. They were followed by Mazoon, which launched last month after sealing an agreement to use Nawras' network.
"Nawras has worked extremely hard to finalise agreements with resellers and has already successfully launched Mazoon, with plans to launch Samatel in the first quarter of 2010," Cormack added. "We will assess our options and in the meantime our focus will remain on serving our customers."
According to local paper the Oman Tribune, Nawras has one week to pay the fine and 15 working days to conclude the resale agreement with Injaz under a plan presented to the TRA.