Modern telecommunications facilities were introduced in
but major investment in such facilities occurred only
In 1989 the sultanate had almost 87,000 telephones, or
telephones per 100 inhabitants, a figure considerably
for Oman's Persian Gulf neighbors. Service is unevenly
distributed; more than 50 percent of the telephones are in
Muscat area. Service is entirely automatic, with
direct dial available to all customers.
International telecommunications to Europe, Asia, and
Americas go via a satellite ground station, working with
International Telecommunications Satellite Corporation's
(Intelsat) Indian Ocean satellite. Calls to other
the region are routed through a ground station linked to
Satellite Communication Organization (Arabsat) satellite.
system of eight ground stations is used for domestic
In 1992 broadcast facilities were limited. Television
was more widespread than radio. There are only two AM
stations, one in Muscat and one in Salalah, and three FM
stations, two in Muscat and the other in Al Khasab in
northernmost Oman. A powerful shortwave station that
in Arabic and English can be received worldwide.
service is available throughout the country; seven large
transmitters are located in major towns, and twenty-five
relay stations broadcast in rural areas.
The government's priorities in the 1990s are to expand
local telephone facilities in existing telephone switching
centers, to provide telephone service to rural communities
without service, and to expand domestic long-distance and
international telephone facilities. The Fourth Five-Year
Development Plan allocated RO93 million (US$242 million)
telecommunications projects. Plans of the state-owned
Telecommunications Organization include launching public
data communications, and telephone expansion services.
Data as of January 1993