Firms invited to apply for Bahrain’s second mobile license
Bahrain’s newly formed Telecommunications Authority (TA) will issue an official invitation for both foreign and local companies to apply to establish the country’s second mobile phone operator during the first week of January 2003. The licensee will compete with the Bahrain Telecommunications Company (Batelco), which has so far enjoyed a monopoly status.
The authority intends to award a second mobile license in the second quarter of 2003. The 15-year license commits the awarded company to develop and operate a mobile network and to provide associated services. “The successful licensee also has the potential to enhance its position by acquisition of further licenses within Bahrain, including a national fixed license,” according to a statement issued by Bahrain’s telecom regulatory and licensing body.
Bahrain has recently enacted a new telecom law that sets the final liberalization timeline for the communications sector in the country. The market is anticipated to be fully competitive in 2004. The establishment of the independent regulator for the country’s telecommunications market has initiated the liberalization process. With a population of some 651,000, the small island kingdom has a mobile penetration estimated at around 55 percent in October 2002, up from 46 percent in 2001. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)
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