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Thu 24 May 2007 04:00 AM

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Omantel set to make Pakistan purchase

Omantel is set to finalise its acquisition of a majority stake in a Pakistan-based telecom operator next month, according to Reuters.

Omantel is set to finalise its acquisition of a majority stake in a Pakistan-based telecom operator next month, according to Reuters.

The operator, known in full as Oman Telecommunications Company, is also in talks to buy a minority stake in a Gulf Arab telecom operator, the firm’s executive president Mohammed Al-Wohaibi told Reuters.

The Pakistani operator was not named but, according to industry sources cited by the news agency, is likely to be Worldcall, one of the largest private telecom operators in the country.

Omantel, which is seeking to expand outside its home territory in anticipation of losing its fixed-line monopoly later this year, said earlier this week it was weighing up a purchase in Pakistan.

The operator lost its monopoly on mobile phone services in 2005 with the launch of Nawras.

Omantel is not the only Middle East-based operator to have considered the Pakistani telecoms market. Qtel this week completed its purchase of a majority stake in newly formed telecom firm Burraq.

Etisalat, meanwhile, took a 26% stake in Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) in 2005.

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