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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

TRA to start trial 'shutdown' of 3G services

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Muscat: The Telecommunications Regulations Authority (TRA) will conduct a limited trial to stop the third-generation services as part of the plans to identify the challenges ahead of the gradual suspension of all 3G services in the country by the third quarter of the year 2024.


As part of the efforts to upgrade the telecom services to meet the needs of the future, TRA had earlier announced that it will stop providing third-generation (3G) mobile services gradually, starting in the third quarter of 2024.


With this move, mobile devices limited to 3G and 2G capabilities will have to be phased out, and their users will be forced to upgrade their gadgets in line with the needs of telecommunication services.


Speaking to the Observer, a top TRA official had said that there is a program in place to close 3G networks so that service providers can use 3G spectrum capacities for new technologies such as 4G and 5G.


The suspension of 3G services will take place gradually starting with the least populated areas.


The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) said that it will stop approving and importing communication devices that do not support the minimum of a 4G network.


TRA said that (VoLTE) or Voice over 4G LTE network must be enabled in all mobile devices.


The decision also reflects the rapid development of the telecommunications sector in the world, which necessitates investment in modern technologies, which 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.


With efforts made to speed up the Internet in the country with the number of 5G stations going up by 2,600 stations/


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 will also add pressure to phase out previous generation networks in markets where 5G network rollout has been quick.


The timeline for such phasing out 2G or 3G will depend on various spectrum factors as well as the number of devices used on 2G/3G networks.


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