Oman has opened bidding on a new fixed line telecommunications licence to be made available in the country, opening up the market to overseas investors.

Oman has a population of approximately 2.75 million and the local regulatory authority estimates the current fixed penetration rate at 10 per cent.

Broadband is at a very low penetration of just 3 per cent, representing an attractive opportunity for new entrants, the Oman Telecommunications Regulatory Authority said.

The regulator said that potential bidders should comprise an operator or a consortium led by an operator, with a minimum of 300,000 active fixed subscribers in operation for a period for at least two years.

The deadline for bids is August 25.

The governemt is also in the process of selling a 25 per cent stake in Omantel, the incumbent fixed line monopoly.