Muscat, 26 June 2012 – Nawras, Oman’s customer friendly communications provider, has signed an agreement with Huawei, a world-leading information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider, to turbocharge the Nawras Radio Access Network (RAN)
by upgrading all sites to enhanced 3G+ and increasing coverage, in-building penetration, capacity and speed of the entire network. At the same time Nawras will be launching the highly anticipated 4G LTE technology, introducing one of the world’s most advanced wireless communication technologies to provide high-speed mobile data with an exciting new level of customer experience.
Amidst a crescendo of sound and lights, the signing ceremony took place at Muscat Grand Mall and was attended by Nawras Executive Committee members, Huawei Management, officials from the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), members of the press and Nawras family members. An energetic and colourful display bridged the two rich and vibrant cultures as a band of Omani drummers and Chinese lion dancers performed in tribute to the heritage and dynamism of the two companies. Live demonstrations of the new technology showed the incredible speed and capabilities that customers will soon be enjoying for superfast file downloading, seamless streaming of films and videos and a myriad of multimedia opportunities.
“We are delighted to be joining forces with Huawei who have a wealth of experience and undisputed track record after building many of the world’s most advanced LTE networks,” said Ross Cormack, CEO of Nawras. “4G LTE will essentially revolutionise the way we communicate with superfast, high quality broadband internet service, unlocking a world of communication opportunities beyond imagination. With this cutting edge technology, we will introduce exciting services to give a seamless, smooth multimedia experience, whether it’s watching HD television or reading an interactive online news story with animation, audio and video feeds. We will be making communication even more exciting and even more rewarding.”
He added, “We would like to thank the TRA for their tremendous support and for making it possible for us to launch LTE FDD in the 1800 spectrum, which is one of the industry’s de facto standards, providing access to a very high number of devices for customers. Together with this decision and the TRA’s release of two more 3G+ frequencies, we will at least triple our mobile broadband capacity to serve our broadband hungry customers. As we turbocharge our network by increasing and enhancing 3G+ sites and introducing 4G LTE, we will continue to update customers at every step. This exciting development programme is due to begin this August in Al Amerat and will continue as we roll it out throughout the whole country.”
Around 30 per cent of sites will be turbocharged before the end of December 2012 and customers will immediately notice the difference as they start to receive fast 3G+ and 4G services. The 4G LTE network will cover all major areas of Muscat Governate including Ruwi, Central Business District, Wadi Kabir, Muttrah, Qurm, Azaiba, Al Khuwair, Ghala, Baushar, Mawaleh and The Wave, by the end of the year. All major cities will enjoy LTE coverage by June 2013.
“Huawei and Nawras share a mutual commitment to developing customer-centric telecom networks in Oman, and we are proud to see this latest agreement build on a long and fruitful history of collaboration,” noted Mr. Xiao Ning, President of Qtel Key Account, Huawei. “Within the region, 4G technologies such as LTE are on the verge of becoming an essential part of people's everyday lives. This innovative technology not only delivers faster speeds, but also offers significant cost advantages to operators in achieving business innovation.”
During the event, Wolfgang Wemhoff, Nawras Chief Technical Officer, explained, “We are and always will be a customer centric organisation, bringing the latest and very best of modern technology to make communicating easier and more versatile. We have witnessed an explosive demand for data which is driven by the popularity of smartphone and tablet devices. The introduction of enhanced 3G+ and 4G LTE will enable us to better serve customers’ ever increasing demand for richer services. It will result in higher performance with wider applications such as video conferencing, super responsive online gaming, streaming videos and music without interruption, in addition to accessing other content rich social media services. New mobile business services will allow our business customers to benefit from real time data exchange and they will have even faster access to their backend system data.”
In addition to the launch of 4G LTE, 3G+ population coverage will rise dramatically from 53% to 97% over the next three years including greater coverage in remote areas across the Sultanate of Oman. At the same time as new 3G+ sites are being introduced, the WiMAX home broadband network will be extended further to allow for better and deeper penetration in areas where customers live and work.
This huge investment will cover new 3G+ sites, increased WiMAX coverage and the exciting introduction of 4G LTE, as all aspects of Nawras network will be evolving to deliver an unbeatable customer experience.