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OTC

OMAN - Telecoms & IT

Majid Al Kharoosi

Managing Director, Oman Tower Company (OTC)

Bio

Majid Al Kharoosi is Managing Director of OTC with extensive professional training along with years of local and international experience in driving communication business growth through operations management, contract management, business development initiatives and resource orientation. He holds a BSc of telecoms and a master’s of satellite and command and control.

"OTC’s business is to build telecom towers and lease space to telecoms operators."
With over 1,000 telecoms towers across the Sultanate, OTC is focused on providing operators with different structures and technology to ensure the delivery of imminent services such as 5G.
Could you outline the company’s main activities and its major highlights of the past year?

OTC’s business is to build telecom towers and lease space to telecoms operators. The company started as a national company because of the demand for additional towers from existing operators and the establishment of a third mobile operator in 2020. There has been high demand for passive infrastructure, and the government intends to ensure the infrastructure is available for service operators in an open access mode. OTC started its operations in 2019 and reached a major milestone in 2021, with 620 sites delivered. To date, OTC has rolled out more than 860 sites, and as of the end of 2022, we have a total of 1,400 sites. OTC provides the passive infrastructure to all service operators, both public or private, as long as they have the license to operate wireless telecom equipment. OTC has signed a master lease agreement with all mobile operators that outline the entire framework between the service operators and OTC. In addition, OTC’s infrastructure can be utilized by different parties where OTC can add value, avoid tower duplications, and save cost.

How big of a role does innovation play in OTC?

OTC provides towers and infrastructure, and we work to become more innovative. Government entities such as the Ministry of Telecoms, the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority, and the Ministry of Housing have started to focus on the visual impact of towers. OTC has accordingly started to introduce new towers with a minimal visual impact that can accommodate all service operators in one location. We have also introduced a new model in Muscat called mosaic towers; however, cost considerations have to be taken into account when introducing such models. In addition, OTC is currently working on smart solutions for passive infrastructures, especially when it comes to the roll-out of 5G, IoT, and the fourth industrial revolution. OTC’s teams are working hard to introduce different methods and technologies to enhance tower models and develop structures that suit all service operators and accommodate their new equipment. Empowering people is a key value for OTC that we will continue to prioritize in the future.

How important is it to retain local talent within the company?

Around 96% of OTC’s employees are Omani, and 75% of them are fresh graduates who are innovative and enthusiastic. We continually train them, and whenever there is an opening, OTC always strives to ensure that current employees have a fair chance to compete. We always believe that a young team has many ideas, and we have to listen to them and give them the chance to practice and work on their ideas with technical and financial support. OTC has always trusted its employees and given them the opportunity to prove themselves. We are proud to have the first Omani woman working as a site engineer on the field successfully managing the tower construction work.

What is your outlook for the short term?

The year ahead will be busy for OTC. The third operator launched commercially at the end of 2021 and is rolling out a nationwide network as quickly as possible. In parallel, the other two service operators are intensively rolling out 5G, which triggers the need for a significant number of new sites for capacity purposes. They also continue to deploy coverage sites, either as part of their obligations or for commercial purposes. Technologies are evolving rapidly, and OTC strives to cover as much as we can in terms of coverage and capacity with new sites. We look forward to complementing with others within the telecoms sector to ensure that services are available everywhere across the Sultanate.

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