New report highlights potential of Bahrain telecom market
Bahrain's telecommunications market is showing signs of growth. In year-end 2004, total cellular revenues exceeded US$ 280 million. Although the PSTN service lost its position as the highest revenue generator, the PSTN revenues reached more than US$ 128 million by end of year 2004.
A new report, “Bahrain Communications Projections Report 2005” was released by the Arab Advisors Group’s Telecom Strategic Research Service on February 17, 2005. This report provides a detailed and comprehensive analysis of the telecommunications markets in Bahrain and the main operators there, including Batelco and MTC Vodafone.
“Our analysis shows that cellular revenues had already become almost double the PSTN revenues in 2004 in Bahrain. The Arab Advisors Group projects that the current breakdown will slightly change over the forecast period since the fixed line market is expected to undergo a competitive transformation in 2005.”
Bahrain’s embrace of full telecom liberalization was swift: Until October 2002, the Ministry of Transportation was the regulatory authority in the country and had full control of all the regulations and rules governing the telecommunications sector in the country. In October 2002, a public authority called the “Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA)” was established by the Telecommunications Law Section 2A.
The TRA is charged with promoting and balancing the interests of subscribers and other users, and promoting effective and fair competition among new and existing licensed operators. It is also responsible for granting new licenses and managing existing ones. A board, appointed by the King on the recommendation of the Council of Ministers, oversees the TRA and day-to-day functioning of which vests in a General Director.
The TRA has awarded licenses in the following categories: Individual Mobile Telecommunications License, International Telecommunications Facility License (IFL), International Telecommunications Services License (ISL), Individual National Fixed Service License, VSAT License, Individual Paging Services License, Value Added Services (VAS) "Class" License, Individual Public Access Mobile Radio Service License and Internet Service Provider License (ISP).
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