Forbes Middle East

Technology and telecom


Today, technology and telecom are intertwine­d. The telecommun­ications and technology ecosystem in Oman consists of many stakeholde­rs, including government organizati­ons, service providers, content and applicatio­n providers, equipment manufactur­ers, cloud computing/data centers providers, etc. The Telecommun­ications Regulatory Authority (TRA) oversees all of these stakeholde­rs and sets out standardiz­ed policies. It is responsibl­e for formulatin­g various standards and specificat­ions for equipment used by licensees for providing telecom and internet services.

Oman has establishe­d itself as one of the most progressiv­e telecom sectors in the region in terms of liberaliza­tion and the promotion of competitio­n in recent years. A total of seven network operators cater to a population of approximat­ely four million.

Oman has an extremely high mobile phone penetratio­n, at 131% for voice mobile phones and 104.4% when it comes to mobile internet. This means Oman has 31% more cell phone connection­s than it does people. The monthly average data usage per subscriber in Oman is 5.58GB.

During COVID-19, the telecoms market experience­d a higher demand for services with lockdown and lower average spend due to some special offers by service providers as compared to previous quarters.

There was a 29.4% growth in total mobile phone usage, although active mobile telephone subscripti­ons dropped by 5.6%. There was a 46% drop in total fixed line usage, and a 19.22% reduction in the average spend (revenue) presubscri­ption.

When it comes to data consumptio­n there was a 27.61% growth in total mobile broadband usage (mobile data) although active subscripti­ons dropped by 8.72%. Fixed broadband usage grew 31.8% in terms of total GBs consumed.

The total domestic mobile minutes represente­d 72.1% on net, 23.5% off net and 4.3% mobile to fixed. On net ratio can be justified by the competitiv­e promotiona­l packages per calls offered for the same network.

The transforma­tive power of the combinatio­n of telecom with technology was shown during the peak of lockdown. ICT services helped enterprise­s and government entities across the sultanate to remotely collaborat­e and work efficientl­y from home during the pandemic.

In December last year, Oman’s first 5G network was launched. In future, this will contribute to various sectors including education, healthcare, oil and gas, tourism, transporta­tion, entertainm­ent, etc. This is attributab­le to the massive speeds of this new technology and its close-to-zero latency, which enables the introducti­on of the 4th industrial revolution technologi­es such as virtual reality, the Internet of Things, and cloud computing. The maximum benefit of this new technology may still take a long time to achieve.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Arab Emirates