5G-based wireless telecommunications technology now covers 40 per cent of Oman’s population – a figure set to grow exponentially when a third telecom operator, Vodafone Oman, enters the fray, likely before the end of this year.
According to the latest market indicators for the telecom sector, published by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), 5G home broadband subscriptions surged 87 per cent to 38,173 customers in Q2 2021, up from 21,628 subscribers during the previous quarter. Driving this growth was, among other factors, the installation of 1,300 5G mobile sites covering key urban areas of the country.
A total of 3,200 mobile network sites have been installed across the country, providing 97.6 per cent of the population with 4G coverage and 99.4 per cent with 3G coverage, the Authority said.
The number of mobile subscribers in the country dipped to 5.907 million in Q2 2021, down from 6.109 million during the previous quarter. Reflecting this downtrend, mobile penetration in the country slipped to 132 per cent, down from 137 per cent during Q1 2021, according to the TRA report.
Omantel’s share of the mobile telecom market was 44.4 per cent, with Ooredoo (39.1 per cent) and Friendi / Renna (16.5 per cent) sharing the remainder. Prepaid mobile subscribers accounted for a dominant 80 per cent share of the mobile market in Q2 2021, down from 84 per cent in the previous quarter.
Mobile usage averaged 96 minutes per month per subscription during Q2 2021, with mobile broadband usage pegged at 6 GB per month. This usage generated corresponding revenues of RO 1.580 in ARPU for voice (national outgoing minutes) and RO 3.613 in mobile broadband data usage.
In Over the Top (OTT) social media usage, the report indicated a significant 37 drop in Facebook usage during the first half of 2021 versus corresponding figures for the preceding half. But Instagram usage surged 125 per cent over the same period, followed by TikTok (68 per cent), online gaming (55 per cent) and Snapchat (18 per cent)