The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) said it would stop approving and importing communication devices that do not support a minimum 4G network.
TRA said VoLTE (Voice over 4G LTE) network must be enabled in all mobile devices starting from February 28, 2023. Devices not supporting VoLTE features will be banned from entering Omani markets
from April 1, 2023.
TRA urged institutions and individuals to upgrade their devices that support modern technologies.
On Sunday, TRA announced it would gradually stop providing third-generation (3G) mobile services from the third quarter of 2024.
TRA plans to stop the 3G services from July 2024 as part of the efforts to improve communications services, directing natural resources such as frequency band spectrum, investing in modern
technologies, and focusing on offering better-quality services.
Earlier, speaking to the Observer, a top TRA official had said that there is a programme in place to close 3G networks so that service providers can use 3G spectrum capacities for new technologies such as 4G
The suspension of 3G services will gradually start with the least populated areas.
The decision also reflects the rapid development of the telecommunications sector in the world, which necessitates investment in modern technologies. It results in shutting down the least effective networks
to allow the use of more effective networks, allowing subscribers better quality services and enhancing the experience of using the latest and most advanced networks.
In 2022 first half, 21 per cent of 526,531 home fixed broadband subscriptions were via 5G wireless, while 49 per cent of fixed broadband subscriptions were in the Muscat Governorate.
There has been a constant growth in the number of Fibre to Home subscriptions, with more homes and areas coming under coverage.
It was revealed that nearly 80 per cent of buildings would be covered by fixed high-speed broadband, noting that fibre services would cover over 600,000 buildings in 2022.
According to GSMA Intelligence, by 2025, there will be around 50 million 5G connections, with around 20 million in the GCC States. The report added that 5G would also add pressure to phase out previous
generation networks in markets where 5G network rollout has been quick.