Oman Mobile launches 3.5G network in Muscat

Oman's incumbent operator plans to extend network beyond Muscat in the "near future"

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By  Roger Field Published  March 4, 2009

Oman Mobile has launched 3.5G services in Oman, with a network that initially covers Muscat. The company, which is the second operator to launch 3G services in Oman after rival mobile operator Nawras, said it plans to extend coverage to “all other regions in the Sultanate in the near future”.

Oman Mobile, which already operates limited 3G services through Edge technology, said the network will allow speeds of up to 7.2MB.

“The network provides the most recent technologies including mobile Internet, which will constitute part of a wide range of broadband services provided by Omantel and Oman Mobile,” the company said in a statement.

But Oman Mobile, the mobile arm of incumbent operator Omantel, may face an uphill struggle against its rival Nawras, which launched its 3.5G network throughout Oman’s main cities and industrial areas in December 2007, giving it a significant first mover advantage.

Ross Cormack, CEO of Nawras, said his company already has “something like 300,000 customers” using its 3G+ network for voice and data.

“Clearly competition is a good thing,” he said, responding to news of Oman Mobile’s new network. “We have clearly led the way and it is three years since we put our trial network in, which was already world leading at the time.”

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