A national team has been constituted to pave the way for the roll-out of fifth-generation (5G) international mobile telecommunications in the Sultanate, according to Dr Mohammed bin Hamad al Rumhy, Chairman of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) of Oman. The high-level team includes representatives from all of the key stakeholder agencies, as well as mobile operators, who will play a role in driving the introduction of this cutting-edge wireless technology, seen as indispensable to achieving Oman’s long-term economic growth ambitions.
“The 5G national team include members from TRA and the mobile network operators in the Sultanate, who aim to develop a 5G strategy that will facilitate the 5G-network deployment in Oman and will address the likely challenges that surface during implementation,” Dr Al Rumhy stated in the newly issued 2017 Annual Report of the telecom and postal services regulator.
According to experts, 5G cellular technology is engineered to greatly enhance the speed and responsiveness of wireless networks. Data transmitted over 5G-enabled broadband connections can potentially travel at speeds of around 20 Gbps. Offering an exponential leap over today’s 4G and 4.5G (LTE advanced) versions, 5G will also drive the growth of autonomous cars, smart communities, industrial Internet of Things (IoT), immersive education, and other game-changing wireless technology developments.
As part of preparations for the introduction of the revolutionary wireless technology in Oman, members of the national team participated in a 5G workshop held in China, the Authority said. The experiences of various countries deploying 5G were showcased to the Omani delegation at the event.
“An action plan has been developed, whereby each concerned entity will take the necessary measures to accelerate and facilitate the introduction of the 5G technology. TRA’s role has been emphasised in the need for legislation and regulations facilitating mobile operators to adopt the 5G network-using infrastructure owned by the government entities,” the regulator stated in the Annual Report.
According to Dr Hamed Salim al Rawahi, Executive President of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, pilot projects and a roadmap for embracing 5G have commenced with the active engagement of industry stakeholders. These initiatives are aligned with the guidelines of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and other international trends, he noted. South Korea, China, Japan and the United States are billed as the top four countries that are on track in the roll-out of commercial-scale 5G technology over 2019-2020. However, some international operators are likely to debut 5G-enabled networks as early as before the end of this year, say experts.