Oman Plans to Speed up Fiber Optic Deployments


Oman’s Ministry of Transport and Communications plans to speed up fiber optic installation in the country. While elaborating the Ministry’s plans, the Minister Dr. Ahmed Al Futaisi said that Oman’s communication sector will see a new phase of activities in 2019.

The Ministry is planning to realize deployment of fiber optic cables to connect 40,000 houses in the capital city Muscat and 45,000 houses outside the Muscat.

The Minister also revealed the plans to introduce one more operator to country’s mobile telecommunication sector. This will increase the competition in the market, which the Ministry thinks would be beneficial to the Omani subscribers. Omantel, which is the incumbent telecommunication service provider has an extensive network of fiber optic cables in Oman, mainly in the backbone sector.

Qatar based Ooredoo Operates in Oman as Ooredoo Oman, which was previously branded as Nawras. Both Omantel and Ooredoo Oman has mobile Services. Another service provider is Awasr but Operations are in fixed telecommunication sector.

The Ministry would give license to the third mobile operator and would insist them to start commercial operations from the sector quarter of 2020.

Though slowly, Oman has built a progressive mobile sector which has substantial coverage of both 3G and 4G LTE networks. Some trials and early discussions for the 5G developments have happened but are expected to take momentum from 2020.

Oman Broadband Company in Oman is a special vehicle established for accelerating the fiber broadband development. Shortly known as OBC, the Oman Broadband Company pushes towards improving fixed broadband infrastructure for Oman – especially fiber-based networks.

As part of it National Broadband Strategy, OBC plans to have all homes and businesses connected to its national broadband infrastructure by 2040.

The fiber optic service provider, Asawr focuses on the fiber to the Home offering.
Oman has the potential to become a technology hub in the Middle East as it is well located between Asia, Africa and Europe and has access to several submarine cable systems. Equinix, one of the largest data centre operators was selected to partner with Omantel in mid-2018 and jointly build a new data centre in Oman.

The Oman Fiber Optic Cable Company (OFO) produces optical fibers and cables in their manufacturing facility at Rusayl Industrial Area. OFO is one of the leading manufacturers of optical fiber cables and is the only manufacturer of optical fibers in the Middle East Asia region. OFO has an engineering division, which is actively involved in the fiber deployment projects in Oman and surrounding countries.

The new deployments will benefit OFO as Oman has a preferential buying strategy from the domestic manufacturers. The expansion plans announced by the Minister would rejuvenate the telecommunication sector as a whole and also help yo generate new jobs in fiber installations such as fiber optic fusion splicers, technicians, supervisors etc., in Oman.

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