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OMAN TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMPANY (S.A.O.C.).

Royal Decree No. 46/99 transformed the General Telecommunications Organization into an Omani Closed Joint Stock Company fully owned by the Government and named "Oman Telecommunications Company" (OMANTEL). The decree was issued to enable the telecom sector in Oman to occupy its internationally acclaimed position. This is the first stage of involving the private sector in the process of promoting the Omani Telecom Sector in the future.

The Ministry of P.T & T has been working for several years on the re-structuring of the telecommunications sector in conformity with the competitive environment. The Royal Decree creating OMANTEL begins a transitional stage in which steps will be taken to involve the private sector in running the telecom sector; either offering part of the company's capital to the private sector or through public offers. The role of the private sector will not be limited to this only as it will gradually expand commensurate with liquidity position in the country.

An international financial consultancy firm has been appointed to advise on the appropriate way to privatize a part of OMANTEL. The private sector will participate with the government in the ownership of OMANTEL with assurance that the privatization project will result in many benefits for all the citizens.

OMANTEL has played one of the most important roles in the renaissance of the Sultanate of Oman. His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said has made Telecommunications expansion a priority since 1970. At that time Oman's telecommunications network was basic in the extreme. The country was served by a mere 500 analogue telephone lines, which only offered coverage to Muscat and Muttrah towns with an international service that consisted of three high frequency radio channels.

Today OMANTEL has implemented a network of exchanges that is fully digital, equipped with 644,288 lines and a transmission system that connects vast and varied geographical areas.

TELEPHONE NETWORK

SWITCHING

1984 was a landmark year for switching in the Sultanate of Oman. Modern computerized digital switching systems were introduced in the OMANTEL Network as part of a major telecommunication expansion project. 15 digital exchanges of EWSD type were introduced in the Governorates of Muscat and Dhofar with a total capacity of 58,000 lines. A computerized centralized supervisory system was also installed In Greater Muttrah TCC. This was for remotely monitoring the performance of the network and carrying out corrective measures from one central location.

All digital exchanges are capable of providing ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network).

In 1986, digitization of networks continued and OMANTEL provided new digital exchanges of AXE-10 type in the Wilayats of Sohar, Nizwa, Buraimi, Ibri, Ibra, and Sur. A second centralized supervisory system was installed for remote operation and maintenance. OMANTEL utilized Remote Subscriber Units (RSU) to serve the small, remote rural areas of the Sultanate.

In 1986, a new Digital International Exchange was commissioned to accommodate the increasing demand for international traffic and to facilitate international subscriber dialling.

Signalling System No. 7 was implemented in three phases in OMANTEL switches which further enhanced Network performance and enabled the introduction of new facilities such as call completion to a busy subscriber. With the switching Network reaching 100% digitization, OMANTEL is in a position to introduce enhanced value added services offered in intelligent networks.

TRANSMISSION

The transmission Network consists of the following:

Digital coaxial, Optical Fibre cable systems using PDH & SDH technology, Analogue and Digital microwave Radio Systems and a Domestic Satellite Network, which operates using Arabsat. This Transmission Network interconnects all exchanges in the Sultanate. OMANTEL installed and commissioned various new transmission systems to extend and increase the efficiency of its services.

On completion of current projects, telephone services will be extended to cover new towns and villages, in addition to upgrading the present working network.
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Publication:The Middle East
Geographic Code:7OMAN
Date:Dec 1, 1999
Words:621
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