As part of a programme aimed at modernising and expanding its network infrastructure, Oman’s second national telecoms operator, Nawras, has announced the commercial launch of 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) services. Both pre-paid and post-paid 4G mobile broadband services are available across the Muscat capital area with maximum download speeds of up to 15Mbps, the company’s CEO Ross Cormack said during a press conference. The launch forms part of the firm’s ‘network turbocharging’ programme, which was unveiled in June 2012 and has already seen the speed, capacity and coverage of its mobile networks improved ‘in most areas of Muscat and Al Batinah South’ governorates. ‘Starting from Al Bustan to beyond Musannah, Nawras has added 3G+ services to every base station, added new base stations and more than doubled the amount of broadband data traffic that can be carried at any one time. The launch of 4G services in Muscat adds an additional service with even faster speeds for those who require huge quantities of data,’ noted Wolfgang Wemhoff, Nawras’ CTO. The next stage of the turbocharging programme is scheduled to begin in the near future and will see the company, which is majority owned by Qatar Telecom (Qtel), continue to roll out faster broadband speeds across the Sultanate.
In other news, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has agreed an initiative with the country’s two telecoms network operators, Omantel and Nawras, to extend services to underserved and rural areas. According to local press reports, around 200 new base transceiver stations (BTS) will be constructed to provide coverage to 250 villages in remote parts of Oman.