LTE PERFORMANCE: OMAN RANKED 28TH, ONLY BEHIND UAE AMONG GCC STATES

MUSCAT: Oman’s telecommunication industry continues to perform robustly with the sultanate being ranked 28th in the world in LTE performance, leaving behind the UK, Japan, Germany and the US. Oman is ahead of all GCC countries except UAE.

The average download speed on Oman’s 4G networks inched up to 15Mbps in the June-August quarter, according to research company OpenSignal’s global report, ‘The State of LTE’ released earlier this month.

New Zealand scored the highest average speed in the quarter with 36Mbps, coming up from nowhere in the rankings. But perennial standouts like South Korea and Singapore kept getting faster, too. The average LTE speed in Korea is now 29Mbps (up by 4Mbps), and in Singapore it’s 33Mbps, up by 5Mbps. UAE ranked eighth, Bahrain 37th, Qatar 58th, Kuwait 63rd and Saudi Arabia 65th.

However, in case of LTE coverage, Oman is ranked 43rd (with 55 per cent coverage) overall and is behind all other GCC states. Kuwait leads the group at the fourth spot, followed by Bahrain at ninth, Qatar at 13th, UAE (17th) and Saudi Arabia at the 30th position.

The biggest standout is South Korea, where users enjoy LTE service 97 per cent of the time. On carrier LG U+, it’s 99.6 percent, so effectively subscribers never have to fall back onto 3G. Korea is also home to the fastest single LTE operator in the world, Olleh, with an average download speed of 30Mbps.

In another report conducted by global analyst firm Ovum, 4G LTE-enabled devices will account for four out of five mobile subscriptions in Oman by 2020.

The number of LTE mobile subscriptions in Oman will exceed GSM (2G) subscriptions in the country by the end of 2015 and overtake W-CDMA (3G) subscriptions during 2018, growing to account for 80.6 per cent of Oman’s mobile subscriptions by the end of 2020, forecasts Ovum. The number of GSM connections in Oman will decline steeply over the forecast period, with the result that W-CDMA and LTE connections combined will make up 99.5 per cent of mobile subscriptions in the country by end of 2020.

Matthew Reed, practice leader for Middle East and Africa at Ovum, said, “Oman is among the more advanced telecom markets in the Middle East, and the continued roll-out of LTE networks by the two main operators, along with factors such as increasing affordability of LTE-enabled devices, will lead to a rapid rise in the use of LTE technology over the coming five years.”