Ovum forecasts 4G LTE will surge to account for 81% of Oman mobile subscriptions by 2020

4G LTE-enabled devices will account for four out of five mobile subscriptions in Oman by 2020, according to new five-year forecasts by global analyst firm Ovum.

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% of Oman’s mobile subscriptions by end-2020, forecasts Ovum (see Figure). 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% of mobile subscriptions in the country by end-2020.

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

Ovum is also forecasting significant growth in Oman’s fixed broadband market, with the number of fixed broadband subscriptions expected to increase from 215,500 at end-2015 to 307,600 by end-2020.

In particular, the take-up of high-speed, fiber-based fixed-broadband services is set to grow strongly as Omantel, Ooredoo, and the government-backed Oman Broadband Company expand their deployments of fiber-optic networks. Ovum forecasts that the number of FTTx subscriptions in Oman will reach 99,000 at end-2020, giving FTTx a 32.2% share of the fixed broadband market by subscriptions in 2020.

However, copper-based DSL will continue to be the main technology for fixed broadband in Oman, accounting for 43.8% of fixed broadband subscriptions in 2020.

Wireless technologies, primarily WiMAX and LTE, will account for 24.1% of Oman’s fixed broadband subscriptions in 2020, with the number of fixed LTE subscriptions increasing as WiMAX-based subscriptions decline.

“Fixed broadband penetration is a little lower in Oman than in some other Gulf countries, but the expansion of broadband network coverage, and particularly of fiber networks, will boost the availability and take-up of high-speed fixed broadband,” concluded Reed.

Figure: Oman market outlook, 2015–20

[Oman Market Outlook

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