December 03, 2020

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Oman Broadband Adapts a New Technology for Rural Areas (USO Project) Broadband Coverage

In line with the ongoing efforts to ensure achieving the national broadband strategy that aims towards bridging the digital gap in the Sultanate of Oman, and towards enhancing broadband infrastructure to achieve the national Oman2040 Vision of eGovenment & eServices; Oman Broadband Company gained the trust to lead the implementation of a national initiative that was launched by the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority on April 2020. The TRA received the approval of the government on funding the initiative with a total amount of OMR15 million over 10 years.

The initiative targets rural areas with limited broadband services access, and limited population density. This successful step will beneficiate at least 598 villages that holds up to 8,500 housing units, along with 141 schools, 9 health centers, and a few government institutions. Despite the difficult terrains & geography those rural areas carry, Oman Broadband will be unlocking the potential in the selected areas through the adaptation of the latest satellite technologies using High Throughput Satellites (HTS) of Arabsat 6A on Ka-Band for the first time in The Sultanate. The technology was adapted in partnership with Oman Broadband’s sister company “Space Communication Technologies” post conducting intensive research and studies with respect to the challenging terrains and population density of the benefited villages and individuals.

The satellite is in the orbital slot of 30.5 East, which provides a high elevation angle for the remote terminals in Oman. This will ensure the clear line of sight of Arabsat 6A in the villages surrounded by mountains in Oman. Moreover, the payload is operating on the Ka-Band which provides higher throughput and can also be received on earth through smaller antennas. The payload is controlled by national cadres and has a full coverage over the sultanate and its national waters.

Adapting the satellite technology will enable Oman Broadband to provide fixed internet infrastructure in these rural villages. In coordination with the local Internet Service Providers, Oman broadband built an operating model that is similar to the FTTH model based on an open access network which gives the end user the opportunity to choose a service provider according to their preference.

Following the above model, Oman Broadband will enable the internet service providers to deliver  the rural areas a fixed internet service  with a download speed of 6Mbps for residential areas and a download speed of 10Mbps for the government & business entities.

The initiative was successfully launched in October 2020. Oman Broadband accelerated the progress of this initiative to align with the current needs in result of the pandemic Coronavirus (COVID-19). It will support the individuals in these areas in different areas such as online education, being able to work remotely, and connect with those who are distantly in different areas.

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