ViewQwest exports Singapore fibre broadband network design to Oman

SINGAPORE -Local fibre broadband service provider ViewQwest has exported its network know-how to Oman, which plans to take fibre links to about 90 per cent of homes in its capital city of Muscat and 35 per cent of other governorates.

Announcing their partnership on Thursday, ViewQwest and Oman's sole fibre broadband service provider Awasr said that this translates to about 225,000 homes in Muscat, for starters.

Awasr will start trialing Internet surfing at speeds of up to 1Gbps - or 100 times faster than current technologies there - on Nov 18. Commercial broadband service launch is scheduled for an unspecified date next year.

According to ViewQwest, Oman has 500,000 households in total.

The architecture of its fibre broadband network is similar to that of the Singapore's Next Generation Nationwide Broadband Network (NGNBN), from which ViewQwest leases wholesale fibre capacity to provide a retail service locally.

In Singapore, fibre links are taken all the way to homes, with a termination point installed within the home.

In Oman, the government-owned Oman Broadband Company is taking fibre links to just outside homes. When a customer orders a broadband service, the fibre optic cable is pulled into the home and a termination point installed.

"We are inspired by Singapore's strategic approach to the implementation of NGNBN and we hope to emulate that success in Oman as we connect homes and offices nationwide," said Mr Ghaith Al Darmaki, programme director of Oman's sole fibre broadband service provider, Awasr.

"Our network has been built using the same equipment and methods as ViewQwest," he said in a statement.

Mr Vignesa Moorthy, chief executive officer of ViewQwest, said: "We are proud of our role in Singapore's successful transition to a smart nation and look forward to creating a similar experience in Oman."

ViewQwest is not the only local fibre broadband provider which has ventured overseas.

In May, telco M1 formed a joint venture with Oman telco Integrated Telecommunications Oman to offer fibre broadband services, among others, there.

Late last year, MyRepublic started its fibre broadband services for business users in New Zealand.

The Infocomm Development Authority (IDA), which spearheaded Singapore's NGNBN, told The Straits Times that it is delighted that local companies are making waves overseas.

"The learnings that these companies have picked up through their successes here will be instrumental in helping them address the global market opportunities to propel their international growth," said IDA assistant chief executive Khoong Hock Yun.

itham@sph.com.sg