98% of population to be covered by mobile networks in Oman: TRA

Business Sunday 21/May/2023 23:45 PM
By: Times News Service/ With ONA inputs
98% of population to be covered by mobile networks in Oman: TRA

Muscat: The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) is committed to developing the telecommunications services in the Sultanate of Oman and has envisaged covering a total of 98 percent of the population by mobile networks by the end of 2025.

The ambitious goals set by TRA to be completed by 2025 also aims to have an infrastructure covering 75 percent of buildings by fibre optic services. It also aims to have 85 percent of buildings covered by fixed broadband networks and hopes to reach 100 percent in the total number of stations that support 4G and 5G services.

The targets were revealed by the TRA on Sunday during a dialogue held on telecommunications infrastructure expansion projects in 2023.

The meeting discussed the quality of services, basic measurement indicators for evaluating the quality and prices of telecommunications services in Oman along with the investments made during the past five years.

The TRA said that the percentage of mobile phone subscriptions (as compared to the population) grew by 140 percent, while the percentage of fixed broadband coverage reached 80 percent (as against the total number of buildings).

It also said that 12 regulations were issued, including on regulating communication towers. The bylaws regulate the rights of users of telecommunications services and the quality of communications services. The regulations also will help streamline the implementation of services in the field of telecommunications and standardise the introduction of voice or video communication services via the Internet Protocol.

The TRA stated that the number of government schools that have been covered by telecommunication services until 2022 stood at 1,221, of which 1,146 schools were covered by 5G fibre optic network. It represented 94 percent of the total schools covered.

A project is underway to transfer subscribers from 3G service to the 4G and 5G services. With effect from 2024, all stations operating with the 3G service will be upgraded to stations operating with 4G and 5G.

During the meeting, TRA affirmed that its department is keen to establish a sustainable competitive environment for telecommunications services. It hopes to achieve the goal by monitoring the prices of services in telecommunications companies and ensuring the implementation of the principle of transparency in the case of services rendered by telecom firms to the service beneficiaries.