Muscat: Oman telecom firm Omantel raised 284,500 riyals (Dh2,707,970) in an auction of 10 diamond and gold phone numbers on Saturday.
The special number 71111111 was sold for 196,000 riyals (Dh1,865,600). The telecom provider did not disclose the name of the buyer.
Omantel had organised the auction in cooperation with the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA).
Of the amount raised 80 per cent will go to charitable associations in Oman, while the rest will be split between the telecom operator and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA).
“This was done so the money generated could help support social initiatives, besides various institutions and civil society, which contribute to the overall development of the Sultanate,” Eng Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Riyami, General Manager of Omantel, said.
Commenting on the bidding process, Al Riyami said: “We congratulate TRA for the successful collaboration, which was the first bidding process of its kind in the Sultanate.
As many as 222 participants registered for the auction.
The bidding took place under the supervision of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA). The online auction was organised by service providers Omantel and Ooreedoo through their websites.
Mohammad Al Kindi, executive director, Regulatory and Compliance Unit, TRA, said one of objectives is to limit the illegal trade in private numbers.
Last month, the TRA announced consumers could obtain fancy mobile numbers via a new online auctioning system. The aim is to also increase transparency in the allocation of numbers.
TRA has allocated multiple blocks of 100,000 numbers, with each block having a range of diamond, gold and silver numbers.
As state-owned Oman Telecommunications Company (Omantel) is the primary service provider in the country, while Ooredoo Oman, which is majority owned by Qatar Ooredoo, is the second main telecommunications provider.