The Sultanate of Oman’s Space Communication Technologies LLC (SCT) issued on 3 June 2020 an invitation for consultancy bids to help the company determine the requirements for Oman’s first communications satellite.
SCT is mandated by the government of the Sultanate of Oman to oversee the all of the necessary work and procedures required for the acquisition of a satellite that will meet the country’s satellite communications needs.
The basic requirement is for a ka-band High Throughput Satellite (HTS) that can provide Oman’s satellite communications needs throughout the country and its economic waters, and will provide satellite broadband among several other services. The satellite will utilise the Al Amerat teleport located outside of the Omani capital city Muscat.
SCT aims to have a satellite in orbit by 2023 or 2024 at the latest and the project is considered a priority strategic project for Oman. As the country’s first national satellite, it is expected that it will serve Oman’s national, regional, and international satellite communications needs with the primary telemetry, tracking, and control (TT&C) station to be located in Oman.
Whoever wins the bid from SCT will be expected to help the company secure the necessary orbital slots for the satellite and carry out due diligence tasks for the programme. The winner will also be required to carry out a business case study for SCT as well as develop the requirements definition for the satellite. The winner of the bid will then help organise and oversee the request for proposals (RFP) from international satellite manufacturers. There is also an option for the bid winner to carry out programme monitoring services for SCT.
Bids are due by 24 June 2020.
This is not the first time that the Sultanate of Oman has attempted to develop and acquire its own communications satellite. The previous endeavor was cancelled after the 2008 financial crisis and subsequent protests in Oman over high unemployment. The then ruler, the late Sultan Qaboos, cancelled the satellite programme in order to divert national funds to immediate job programmes in Oman.
Recent years, however, have demonstrated a greater national need for a sovereign satellite communications programme in Oman.
Those interested in bidding for the SCT contract can find the details here.