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Omantel launches 4G

Initially the services would be available in certain pockets of Muscat, Buraimi and Khasab only

Gulf News

Muscat: With the launch of 4G LTE services today Oman Telecommunications Company (Omantel) has invested 500 million Omani riyals (Dh4.7 billion) in expanding their network across the country, according to the company CEO Dr Amor Al Rowas.

Launching the 4G services at Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) today, he said that initially the services will be available in certain pockets of Muscat, Buraimi and Khasab only.

Explaining the reason, he added that the company carried out studies that showed high traffic for the 3.5G services in SQU, Mawalleh, Al Khodh, Ruwi and Al Khuwair areas.

Showing the map where the services will now be available, he pointed out that some pockets in these areas may not get services.

The new Omantel 4G service will be available on the 2.3 Gigahertz (ghz) frequencies. Al Rowas pointed out that Telecommunications Regulatory Authority in the country had also accepted the frequency problem faced by the operators here.

“The government has announced allocation of 15 million riyals to resolve the frequency problems,” he pointed out.

“We have set up 50 stations for the 4G services and plan to increase to 200 stations in future,” the affable Omantel CEO said.

The company ran dry run at the SQU. “The traffic at SQU is high for 3.5G as students use it for gaming as well as for their study use,” he said, adding that the trial run in SQU for the 4G service was very successful. The company has decided to set up five stations at the SQU for the 4G services.

In reply to a question, Al Rowas said that the company would not like to reveal specific details about investment for implementing the 4G services. “We have spent 500 million riyals in the last four years, including for the 4G services.”

Dr Rowas reiterated that the new 4G service was no for voice but data access only.

“We are heavily investing to extend broadband coverage and increase speed to ensure that our customers are provided with the best overall experience,” the Omantel CEO said.

He promised that the gradually the 4G services would be extended to the other parts of the country.

Omantel is selling dongles, with SIM cards, at 30 riyals for the 4G services to be used on laptops and computers.

“The monthly 4G packages start from five riyals onwards while daily charges are one riyal and weekly three riyals,” revealed, Haitham Al Kharusi, Vice President Omantel’s Consumer Business Unit.