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The new plans are reflected in partnerships and an increased use of space-enabled technologies. These efforts focus on upgrading services, handling oil spills and pipeline monitoring.

Space is truly the new frontier for those who think ahead and think big. The ongoing global race and intense competition to conquer space is not just a game of one-upmanship; it represents the start of a search for solutions and innovations for life on earth, including improvements in health, transportation, public safety, consumer goods, energy and environment, information technology, and industrial productivity.

On July 20, 1969, when US astronaut, Neil Armstrong, became the first person to walk on the moon (arguably the greatest technological achievement in human history), he made the famous statement: "This is one small step for man, but a giant leap for mankind." More than half a century later, we are on the verge of benefiting concretely from space exploration.

Every big corporation or conglomerate wants to be in the pilot seat. Thus, it is only natural that ambition-driven, forward-thinking companies across the globe are jumping on the space bandwagon. It is not surprising that Omantel, hitherto a major player in telecom space, has drawn up big plans for expanding into this promising field. It has begun forays into space-linked ventures and is exploring wider applications of space-enabled technologies for services, as it transforms itself from a conventional ‘telco’ into a ‘technology’ company.

Omantel’s ambitious expansion into the space industry is reflected in its historic partnership agreement with Etlaq— set to be the anchor investor in the rocket launch project at Wilayat al Duqm. The project is sponsored by NASCOM (National Aerospace Services Company). Furthermore, Omantel has completed a trial run with the Environment Authority for oil spills and has also worked with multiple operators in the field of oil spill detection.

In addition, Omantel is also focusing on tapping into space-enabled technologies and satellite data to elevate its customer service as well as infuse added efficiency and speed into its diversified services.

The Sultanate of Oman is strategically positioning itself as a regional hub for space endeavors, encompassing satellite and rocket launches. In alignment with this vision, Omantel is charting a course to actively participate in this burgeoning field, recognizing space as the next frontier poised to yield immense benefits for life on Earth. Omantel's initiatives in the space industry are diverse, acknowledging that the sky is the limit when it comes to investments in this forward-looking sector.

Moreover, Omantel is exploring new areas of applying space technologies, including in the fields of pipeline monitoring for oil and gas companies, monitoring the borders and coastal areas and satellite imagery processing. As space technologies help us do things better and faster, it is now possible to monitor a pipeline of thousands of kilometers long and monitor ships in the regional waters.

Omantel believes space activity offers huge potential for bringing greater accuracy and versatility to connectivity, especially when it comes to 5G. The company already uses satellite data to obtain more insights into boosting customer offerings, since satellite images provide deep details, and more accurate data, enabling Omantel to tailor responses and programs to specific sectors and individuals. Omantel uses satellite connectivity as a backup solution in the event of any disaster and sees further scope ahead as the company explores the space sector for more advanced services.

Furthermore, Omantel’s foray into space-related activity is in tune with the Sultanate’s ambitious plans to become a regional hub for space ventures. Oman is building the Middle East’s first space rocket launch center for launching commercial, professional and educational rockets from the ETCO Space Launch Complex which has been categorized among the top 5 most efficient rocket launch latitudes in the world.  There are also plans to build and launch the first Omani suborbital rocket from the complex as well as develop rockets with hybrid-solid engines. In addition, Oman plans to build a space research center for simulation missions and science experiments in the Duqm district’s Artificial Intelligence Zone.

According to Euroconsult, the space ground segment ecosystem is on the brink of transformative expansion with satcom and Earth observation demand leading to a potential cumulative market value of USD 80 billion by 2032. This includes adaptable ground infrastructure to support advanced communication needs and non-geostationary constellations.

Globally, in the private sector, a number of big tech companies have made substantial investments in the roll out of their own satellite communications network in an attempt to provide an internet and telecommunications service offering that is largely independent from traditional terrestrial communications networks. 

Having said this, Omantel has succeeded, through the integration of its operations, processes, and extensive expertise in the field of communications and digital technology, in establishing its position as a leading telecommunications company within the Sultanate of Oman and beyond. The company's innovative approaches have contributed to providing the latest solutions.

The company aims to deliver an unparalleled, exceptional experience to its subscribers and strives to always exceed their expectations. Omantel works towards contributing to the achievement of Oman Vision 2040 objectives by investing in emerging technologies and providing cutting-edge solutions in modern technology, information and communications technology, such as cloud solutions, ICT solutions, AI, Smart solutions, cybersecurity, and much more, in addition to harnessing its technological capabilities to enhance innovation and leadership in new and advanced technologies.

Omantel and Zain, the region’s leading mobile telecom companies, have already launched a new joint venture company— Zain Omantel International (ZOI)— a global mega firm that will provide high quality international wholesale services.

The new venture, the first of its kind in the region, aims to be a global powerhouse, with key differentiating capabilities, displaying the widest footprint in the region, a strategic location to become the telecom gateway to the west and east, and offering the highest number of subsea cables connections.

Moving forward, we can say: Neither the seas nor the space are the limits.

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