Muscat: Ooredoo will cover more than 90 per cent of the Sultanate with a 4G network by year-end, its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ian Dench, has said.
The company’s staff are laying more than 70 sites for 4G connection every month and plan to have 1,600 sites around Oman to achieve their target, Dench said. Currently, Ooredoo covers 55 per cent of the country.
“We add more sites every year for coverage and capacity and reach our universal service obligations. We plan to have 1,600 sites by next year, covering around 90 per cent of the country,” he said at the “Enjoy the Internet” press conference held yesterday.
“We have made a total investment of OMR150 million over the past three to four years to upgrade our sites to 4G.”
Ooredoo is also working with vendors and standard bodies to prepare for 5G technologies once the standards are established.
Oman will welcome its third telecom operator in November, which is likely to increase competition between the two major players in the market now: Omantel and Ooredoo. “This I believe is an opportunity to look at our product offerings and do the best we can to improve.
“There will be a pressure on pricing as always when a new operator enters the market.
“However, with a penetration of 160 per cent, growth opportunities are limited so we have a clear goal moving forward. Voice is definitely flattening or declining. It’s all about data now and the demand is insatiable.
“So our focus is on being a leader in data through our packages,” he explained.
Demand for Broadband services, especially fixed lines is rising at high rates. Dench said that broadband has grown by 50 per cent over the last year and expectations are it will keep growing at the same pace as there is huge demand for connectivity at home.