The Department of Frequency Planning & Strategy is responsible for frequency planning and regulation for the use of spectrum within the Sultanate in order to ensure efficient use of spectrum. The following are some of the duties undertaken by this department;
- Ensure national coordination of frequencies
- Ensure proper international coordination (with ITU, neighboring countries).
- Represent the Authority in national and international meetings with regard to frequency and coordination aspects.
- Initial necessary electro-magnetic compatibility analysis.
- Define and control the radio Communications equipment specifications requirement.
- Participate in international bodies (ITU, ITU-R)
- On the basis of social, economic and political requirements develop a national policy for the management of spectrum.
- Conduct periodical review of existing and future national needs.
- Establish international relationship in the context of spectrum management.
- Establish and update the national frequency allocation plan and raise it to the spectrum allocation committee for approval.
The TRA played a critical role in the implementation of government policy in the telecom sector, allocating RO 50 million to execute radio frequency spectrum migration plan which has been approved by the Council of Ministers. The current licensed companies are suffering from market crowding due to the lack of enough frequencies. The radio frequency spectrum migration plan is aimed at producing solutions for the companies and facilitating future expansions of communication services.
The radio frequency spectrum migration plan is to be executed in the next three years, segmented into three phases. Major achievements have been made from phase 1 alone, which is to be completed by the end of April 2013. The list of achievements is as follows:
- 90 % of GSM 1800 MHz band space has been cleared in all regions except Dhofar, Mussandam and North Batinah, before end of phase 1.
- 95% of 2.6 GHz band has been vacated in all governorates except Dakhiliyah and Sharqiyah before the end of phase 1.
- Omantel and Nawras being assigned a second carrier for 2100 Mhz band.
- All of 800 MHz band was vacated.
- The EGSM band to be vacated by the end of phase 1.
Nawras and Omantel were awarded frequencies in 1800 MHz in order to provide 2G/4G mobile services as a direct result of the overall plan to implement government policy in the telecom sector, further fueling the effort by the TRA planning to auction off portions of bands 800Mhz and 2.6 GHz in 2013.