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Omantel, Ooredoo receive rights for 5G services


Muscat: The decks have been cleared for the phased launch of the 5G mobile internet as per Oman Vision 2040 strategy.

It may be noted that member GCC countries Qatar, UAE and Saudi Arabia have already launched the 5G network, to be soon followed by Kuwait and Bahrain.

On Wednesday, the Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRA) granted two telecom operators – Omantel and Ooredoo – the right to use a 100MHz 5G spectrum, which will offer endless opportunities for upgrading their services.

Both the telecom companies will construct and install 4,400 stations to operate 5G technology in the next five years, including 1,000 stations in the year 2019-2020

To enable the effective roll-out of 5G services and encourage investment in the sector, the telecom companies will be exempted from the annual frequency usage fees for one year.

With this announcement, TRA displayed its readiness for 5G services in the Sultanate, which will enable companies to employ artificial intelligence in data analysis and decision making, providing pivotal impetus to the overall economic development.

TRA also announced details of Oman’s 5G roadmap, which will contribute to the research and development in crucial sectors, including education, health, and logistics.

The announcement was made at the special ‘5G Roadmap’ event organized by TRA, which discussed the planned rollout, legislative developments as well as the readiness of operators to launch the super-speed network commercially.

Ian Dench, CEO, Ooredoo, said, "working with the TRA and other government and private sector entities to deliver 5G, we’ll be taking the Sultanate’s technology to the next level.”

Dench said Ooredoo has been preparing for the transition to 5G wireless technology since 2017, recently rolling out operational trials, demonstrations, and experience zones at stores in Muscat and Salalah.

Ooredoo has updated several of its Home Internet locations across the country with Massive Multiple-input and Multiple-Output (Massive MiMO) technology and put in place a number of base stations, ready to transmit and receive 5G data.

5G promises to dramatically increase the speed at which data is transferred across the network to 100 times faster than a cellular connection and 10 times faster than the speediest home broadband service.

It will also pave the way for other new technologies such as autonomous vehicles, virtual reality and the Internet of Things.

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