22/02/2012 12:01 AST

Oman Telecommunications Company (Omantel) has floated a new subsidiary to provide, among other things, data management, data-hosting and co-location of services.

Oman Data Park is a joint venture of Omantel, with a 60 per cent shareholding, and 4Trust LLC, a local Omani company that owns the balance 40 per cent.

The latter is a subsidiary of National Trading Company, a well-known Omani business house. The joint venture, which was formally established last December, is the latest addition to Omantel’s expanding portfolio of subsidiaries.

The list includes Omania E-Commerce (Tejari), a provider of e-solutions and e-procurement services in which Omantel has a 57 per cent stake; Infoline LLC, a third party call centre services provider and BPO (49 per cent); and Oman Fiber Optic Co, Rusayl-based manufacturer of optical fibre and cables (45 per cent). Pakistani telecom operator Worldcall Telecom is the sole international subsidiary with a 57 per cent stake.

According to Todd M Dick, Vice President — Corporate, Omantel, the new joint venture is expected to be fully operational before the end of this year. “We’re in the process of building the business and getting it into place. There’s been work quite a bit of work done already, and we hope to have some solid services in the market perhaps by the end of 2012.”

In comments to journalists, Dick described Omantel’s joint venture partner in the project as a company with vast experience in data management services, hosting services, and co-location of services.

Together with Omantel’s considerable experience on the connectivity side, as well as its coverage of top tier companies in the market, Oman Data Park is ideally positioned to offer managed services such as Data Hosting and co-location of services. “This is our model, and going forward, we wish to get more and more into these managed services,” he stated.

Ahead of the roll-out of its services, Oman Data Park has begun work on a new data centre at the Knowledge Oasis Muscat (KOM) in Rusayl. Pending the completion of this facility, the joint venture will utilize Omantel’s globally recognised Tier 3 data centre at Qurum to provide services to corporate customers. Beyond targeting the government and banking sectors for its services, Oman Data Park will also look to leverage Omantel’s robust international connectivity to offer managed data services to potential customers beyond the Sultanate’s borders, said Dick.

This trans-border market potential, he said, will be further enhanced when Omantel’s membership of international submarine cable systems grows from the current five to a total of nine in the near future. Multiple landings are planned at locations in the north, central and south of the Sultanate when the new cables are installed.

“This encourages customers in other locations to consider Oman as a place to co-locate their services,” said the Vice-President — Corporate. In this regard, he cited the example of a leading global bank that had decided to move its data services out of Dubai and to co-locate them here in the Sultanate. Also mulling a move was a well-known Qatari banking institution which was looking to shift its services to Oman for backup and redundancy purposes.

“We think this is just the start of what the future will be,” Dick noted.


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