Oman awards new fixed-line telco license

Updated 27 November 2012
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Oman awards new fixed-line telco license

DUBAI: Oman has granted a fixed-line telecommunications license for the greater Muscat area to a consortium of Awaser Oman Co. and Hong Kong's PCCW International, the regulator said yesterday, a decision that may squeeze earnings at Oman's existing operators.
The license is valid for the Governorate of Muscat — home to about a quarter of Oman's estimated 2.8 million people — and will enable the consortium to provide fixed-line data and voice services for 25 years. PCCW International is a subsidiary of PCCW Ltd.
The consortium will compete against Oman Telecommunications Co. (Omantel) and Nawras, a subsidiary of Qatar Telecom (Qtel).
As the former monopoly, Omantel has an extensive fixed-line network and this provided just over half of its revenue for the nine months to Sept. 30, according to Reuters calculations. Fixed-line accounted for 18.5 percent of Nawras's third-quarter revenue.
The Awaser-PCCW license was awarded as fixed-line services lag mobile, which had penetration of 180 percent — or 1.8 mobile subscriptions per person — at the end of June, according to Oman's Telecommunications Regulatory Authority.

Many people hold multiple mobile SIM cards and switch provider depending on which has the best offers for local and international services, with Omantel also hosting two mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs). MVNOs lease network capacity and usually target a particular economic or ethnic group.
Fixed-line take-up has been sluggish in comparison — penetration was only 10.7 percent at the end of June, up 0.6 percentage point since mid-2011, with just over a quarter of households using the Internet on a fixed connection.
Yet fixed-line Internet services are lucrative, with a monthly average revenue per user (ARPU) of 32.071 rials ($83.30) in the second quarter, up 1.3 percent from the previous quarter. Mobile broadband penetration was 51 percent at the end of June.


Pompeo says China is engaging in ‘predatory economics 101’

Would China have allowed America to do to it what China has done to America asked US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. (AP)
Updated 18 June 2018
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Pompeo says China is engaging in ‘predatory economics 101’

  • He said China’s recent claims of “openness and globalization” are “a joke.”

DETROIT: China is engaging in “predatory economics 101” and an “unprecedented level of larceny” of intellectual property, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told a business audience Monday.
Pompeo made the remarks at the Detroit Economic Club as global markets reacted to trade tensions between the US and China. Both nations started putting trade tariffs in motion that are set to take effect July 6.
He said China’s recent claims of “openness and globalization” are “a joke.” He added that China is a “predatory economic government” that is “long overdue in being tackled,” matters that include IP theft and Chinese steel and aluminum flooding the US market.
“Everyone knows ... China is the main perpetrator,” he said. “It’s an unprecedented level of larceny.”
“Just ask yourself: Would China have allowed America to do to it what China has done to America?” he said later. “This is predatory economics 101.”
The Chinese Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Pompeo raised the trade issue directly with China last week, when he met in Beijing with President Xi Jinping and others.
“I reminded him that’s not fair competition,” Pompeo said.
President Donald Trump has announced a 25 percent tariff on up to $50 billion in Chinese imports. China is retaliating by raising import duties on $34 billion worth of American goods, including soybeans, electric cars and whiskey. Trump also has slapped tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico and European allies.
Wall Street has viewed the escalating trade tensions with wariness, fearful they could strangle the economic growth achieved during Trump’s watch. Gary Cohn, Trump’s former top economic adviser, said last week that a “tariff battle” could result in price inflation and consumer debt — “historic ingredients for an economic slowdown.”
Pompeo on Monday described US actions as “economic diplomacy,” which, when done right, strengthens national security and international alliances, he added.
“We use American power, economic might and influence as a tool of economic policy,” he said. “We do our best to call out unfair economic behaviors as well.”