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Omantel boosts internet capacity

Omantel, the sultanate's monopoly telecoms service provider awaiting privatization, has boosted its internet capacity to 12,000 subscribers.

Omantel, the sultanate's monopoly telecoms service provider awaiting privatization, has boosted its internet capacity to 12,000 subscribers.

Omantel said in a statement that the increase will help ease pressure on the network, minimize log-in failures, speed up downloads and uploads, and overall offer trouble-free and high-speed Internet access.

The 12,000 subscribers could log on simultaneously following an investment of OR4.5 million US$12.3 million. Previously only 3,500 could do so.

A recent survey into internet penetration in the Middle East concluded that competition would drive increased internet penetration in the region. An ITP.net spot poll reveals that 58% of the region’s users are dissatisfied with the service they receive from their ISP

Research from Arab Advisors Group (AAG) backs this up, as it claims that the Arab World is bandwidth starved, with more than 740,000 Internet subscribers in eight Arab countries sharing no more than 777 M/bits/s.

To put this in context, the analyst house says that the combined bandwidth of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan, Morocco, Oman, Syria and the UAE is equal to what 518 cable modem subscribers in the US have. The limited nature of bandwidth in the region also makes it expensive.

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