Marking the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day
Decades back when Oman had first embarked on its development journey, heavy trucks loaded with tons of construction materials journeyed around the country to transform the nation into a modern country.
Today, the scene has changed dramatically as the modern world lies beneath the network and cables that transmit data, and the innovative ICT solutions that reshape our lives to become smarter.
As the nation’s first and leading telecom provider, Omantel has long envisioned an entirely connected society, and the company has made great strides in its primary role of connecting people with each other and to the world through a robust nation-wide network and an extensive international submarines network linking different parts of the globe. To build up on this role, Omantel has been proactive in taking the necessary steps to establish a dedicated ICT unit since 2016 offering digital transforming solutions in ways that serve the country’s vision and its commitments to the global sustainable development agenda.
In September 2015, Oman was among the world’s nations at the UN Summit to be recognized for adopting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), becoming one of the member states that agreed upon devoting all efforts to attain these goals. Accordingly, Omantel has been supporting the government’s efforts through various offerings and partnerships.
Commenting on this occasion, Baha Mohammed Ridha Al Lawati Vice President of Enterprise Business Unit said “As the world celebrates the Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD 2020) under the theme “Connect 2030: ICTs for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)’, we would like to strengthen our commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals especially to those that are directly influenced by our business and to those that represent strong contribution to the UN 2030’s Agenda and to Oman’s 2040 strategic direction”.
“Being the national integrated telecom services provider, Omantel stands proud of its contribution to the achievements of UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. In 2014, we set our sustainability framework and objectives which included digital inclusion as one of the three key pillars of the framework. We are proud to have reached unprecedented combined broadband coverage rate of more than 94% using different technologies (fixed , mobile and 5G network).” Al Lawati added.
Omantel contributions to United Nations SDG covered eight goals that are directly related to Omantel business and are among the national priorities for Oman such as education, learning, scientific research and national capabilities, wellbeing and social protection, economic diversification and fiscal sustainability, private sector investment and international cooperation in addition to development of governorates and sustainable cities.
Apart from its core role as the telecom partner of choice for key development projects in the country, Omantel carried out several initiatives to further its contribution to sustainable development goals and national priorities. Among these initiatives were the launch of “Virtual Clinics” enabling patients to communicate with their doctors remotely, “Education as a Service” for schools and educational institutions offering a technology platform for collaboration, “OMREN” project with The Research Council to build a research and education network connecting local universities and colleges with main global educational research networks, “Smart Tracking Solutions” for school buses for Ministry of Education and International School of Choueifat, “Big Data” solutions through Omantel’s first of its kind marketing platform in the region “TASIL” which was also used during emergency situation when Mekunu cyclone threatened the lives of thousands of people in Oman, “Smart City initiatives in Al Mouj, KOM, Muscat, Sohar and Duqm in addition to “Office out of the Box” end-to-end solution for small and medium businesses.
Recently and to support the efforts of Government authorities combating the spread of COVID-19 and mitigate its adverse effects, Omantel provided G-Suite for Education to Ministry of Education during the schools closure time as a result of COVID-19, free educational websites surfing, free video conferencing and collaboration applications such as Cisco Webex, Microsoft Teams and Igtimati and “3D Ambulance” initiative using the already available 3D printing capabilities to produce part of the required medical equipment for the Ministry of Health.
The launch of Oman’s first 5G network by Omantel last December marked a historical moment for Oman. This network will provide ultra-fast access (up to 1 Gigabit) to thousands of customers in different parts of the country and will enable the adoption of new technologies on a wider scale such as big data, artificial intelligence, smart cities, blockchain and fintech solutions.