Bahrain cuts telephone charges to boost investment
Bahrain Telecommunications Co. (Batelco) on Saturday, September 1, cut international direct dialing rates by an average of 14 percent as part of its effort to boost investment in Bahrain. Batelco said calls to Gulf countries at peak times will be cut by eight percent to 220 fils (84 cents) a minute, the Gulf Daily News said.
Callers to Europe and the United States will see peak calls cut by 19 percent to 350 fils ($1.33) a minute, while similar calls to Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have dropped by 13.6 percent to 380 fils ($1.44) a minute. Both peak and off-peak calls to other Arab countries will be cut by 30 fils (11 cents) a minute to 300 and 260 fils ($1.14 and 99 cents), respectively.
The reductions, the sixth in as many years, are applicable on international calls made from any type of communications apparatus, including fixed-line phone, mobiles, facsimiles or payphones. To mark its 20th anniversary on July 2, the company offered $3.4 million worth of free phone calls to residential customers and paid out bonuses to employees.
The Bahraini government has a 39 percent stake in Batelco, with Britain's Cable and Wireless holding 20 percent and the remaining 41 percent publicly traded. Bahrain's crown prince, Sheikh Salman Bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, vowed in February that the government would break Batelco's monopoly of the telecommunications sector. — (AFP, Manama)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)