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Omantel taps into growing wholesale market to become a global provider

Omantel – the first and leading provider of integrated telecommunication services in the Sultanate of Oman – is gaining recognition for its fast-paced transformation from a regional wholesale hub to a global provider. Last week, the company received the ‘Best Middle Eastern Project’ award at the Global Carrier Awards 2019 in London, UK. 

Organised by Capacity Media, the Global Carrier Awards celebrates vision and excellence in the global wholesale telecoms arena. Omantel received this prestigious award for its ‘Global Wholesale Transformation Project’ which commenced in 2018 and is set to reshape the wholesale market in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region and beyond, enabling global telecom carriers and content players to reach further beyond traditional wholesale telecom models.

In recent years, Omantel has significantly invested in technology, networks, and subsea cable deployments to transform its ecosystem. In addition, Omantel has created new collaborations to, directly and indirectly, serve millions of customers as well as some of the largest enterprises, content providers and carriers in the world. 

Sohail Qadir, VP Wholesale at Omantel, commented on the achievement by stating, “The Global Wholesale Transformation Project is a strategic and ambitious initiative building upon Oman’s unique geographical location and Omantel’s integrated ecosystem to simplify access to the fastest-growing markets in the world. It enables our global partners to have economically efficient and technically robust connectivity with low-latency networking and state-of-the-art facilities. This is achieved by openly offering flexible and customisable solutions to meet current and future demands our customers”.

The award-winning project is based on various strategic pillars; Gulf to Africa (G2A) Subsea Cable System, Asia Africa Europe-1 (AAE-1) Subsea Cable System, establishment of Omantel France and Omantel International (OTI), introduction of International Network Operation Centre (INOC) and deployment of Equinix Data Center. All of this is leading to a high standard integrated operation, which offers enhanced business solutions and greater customer experience.

“AAE-1 is a game changer; it is one of the first and largest subsea cable systems in the world that uniquely connects Asia, Africa and Europe via Oman,” Mr Qadir asserted. Spanning approximately 25,000 km, the AAE-1 subsea cable reaches areas that cover almost half of the world’s population, with a design capacity of at least 40 Tbps built on the latest 100Gbps technology. “The subsea cable has eased access for world telecoms to emerging, yet challenging markets. In addition, it has provided different regions with the much needed internet capacity and access to global cloud services and applications. Furthermore, Omantel is proud to be the first GCC telecom operator to establish a subsea cable landing station in Europe. This was achieved by landing the AAE-1 subsea cable in Marseille through Omantel France, a subsidiary of Omantel,” added Mr Qadir.  


Similarly, the G2A subsea cable system represented the first phase of Omantel’s expansion eastwards into the African continent, revolutionising connectivity from Oman to East Africa. The cable comprises of a 1,500 km subsea segment and a 1,500 km terrestrial segment with a capacity of at least 20 Tbps with latest 100G technology.

With the growth of its international operations, Omantel launched an international wholesale company - Omantel International (OTI). As the first phase, OTI manages the company’s international voice business and supports partners and customers with simple and efficient access to new and existing solutions. The coming phases would see an increase in the scope and role of OTI as the capacity business is going to be gradually migrated to OTI as well as other value added services.

Moreover, Omantel has launched an advanced International Network Operation Centre (INOC) to ensure reliable connectivity for its expanding global network footprint. The centre operates 24/7/365 and troubleshoots network issues before they can affect service quality. The operation centre acts as a central point of contact for customers and partners and provides them with real-time information on end-to-end network availability and performance. It has full visibility into the 20 subsea cable systems in which Omantel has invested covering 120 locations around the world. It aims to ensure the highest possible uptime of the network and deliver operational and customer experience excellence.

Additionally, Omantel and Equinix have entered into a joint venture to bring the first world-class carrier-neutral data center to Oman, where carriers, content providers and cloud providers co-locate critical telecom and IT infrastructure. Once completed, the data centre in Oman will be a part of Platform Equinix™ which is comprised of over 200 data centres globally and provides access to business ecosystems made up of +2,900 cloud providers, +1,700 network providers, and +800 content and digital media providers worldwide. 

Through its wholesale arm, Omantel is committed to continue bolstering the wholesale telecom landscape in the region and beyond. The company is keen on implementing strategic and innovative projects to further enhance the outlook of the sector.