First radio observation station opens

In a landmark achievement, the Sultanate on Wednesday witnessed the opening of its first Satellite Radio Observation Station for space services in the country. The only one of its kind in the region and ninth in the world, the station will monitor frequency spectrum allocated to various users of radio communication services and detect interference in satellite frequencies. Launched by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), the ceremony was held under the auspices of Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed al Futaisi, Minister of Transport and Communications.

A number of dignitaries, including His Highness Taimor bin Asaad al Said, ministers, under-secretaries, ITU Secretary-General and other officials were present at the ceremony. Speaking on the occasion, Dr Hamad bin Salem al Rawahi, Chief Executive Officer of TRA, said: “Today we are celebrating the opening of the Sultanate’s first satellite radio service monitoring station for communications number 2181.” This station will enable the authority to provide multiple services in the area of satellite radio services at the local and regional level, thus contributing to the improvement in the use of current and future spectrum resources, he said.

Set up in accordance with international norms and practices, it will determine the geographical location of signals and satellite services received in the Sultanate. “It will also detect any illegal use of satellite services in the uplink and downlink and resolve any accidental or intentional interference in satellite services,” Dr Hamad said. Yousef bin Abdullah al Balushi, Vice Chairman of the Authority for Spectrum Management Affairs, said the opening of the station was the result of a great effort spanning more than five years.

“With this launch, the Sultanate has been placed on the world map in the field of spectrum management,” he said. He revealed that if the countries in the region want the services of the station, the authority is ready to provide assistance. “We are ready to assist them in detecting the sources of interference,” he said. The authority is currently working on setting organisatinal and financial regulations in this regard, he said, adding the commission has received several requests from some regulators and administrations concerned with frequency management in some countries.

SAMUEL KUTTY