The average monthly spending on mobile services has decreased in Bahrain  since 2007 as competition intensifies between mobile services providers, with the greatest expenditure cut experienced by large businesses, said a survey. The survey was conducted by Bahrain Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) in October last year among business consumers covering a representative sample of 250 respondents. The survey examined the usage of and access to different telecommunications services, including fixed lines, mobile phones and internet services by business users as well as measured the extent to which users are satisfied with their telecommunications services. According to the survey, the fixed voice and fax lines are the most commonly used type of connection by businesses.
The number of national calls made from fixed lines has increased since 2007, with the proportion of businesses making more than 100 fixed to fixed calls per day increasing from 22 percent in 2007 to 53 percent in 2011. For large and medium businesses, the average monthly expenditure on fixed line services has decreased since 2007. However, the average monthly spending by small businesses has slightly increased, from BD200 in 2007 to BD220 in 2011, the survey added. On the mobile phone services, The TRA survey said the proportion of businesses that provide mobile phones to employees had increased by more than 30 percent since 2007, with all large businesses providing mobiles to their staff. The main reason for supplying employees with mobile phones is to have a mobile workforce (42 percent) closely followed by expenditure control (37 percent), the survey stated. The number and duration of national calls made from mobiles have increased since 2007, with more than 60 percent of businesses making more than 50 calls per day, it added. According to TRA, the bulk SMS (44 percent) and international roaming (42 percent) were the main value added services used by businesses. The survey also found that majority of businesses were satisfied with their overall level of mobile service, but satisfaction levels were the lowest for customer care and dealing with problems. More than 40 percent of businesses made over 50 international calls per day, with most calls through fixed lines.
The TRA survey said Saudi topped the global phone list of Bahraain firms with 75 percent of the calls followed by UAE (73 percent). On the internet scenario, the survey said almost all medium and large businesses had access to the internet. Of these, 98 percent made use of a fixed line broadband service, while 53 percent had a mobile broadband subscription . The survey found that satisfaction rate among firms on the internet services had improved vastly in most areas, with 75 percent of businesses happy with overall service levels (up from 70 percent in 2007).
The published report also compares the results of the 2011 survey with the results of a similar survey undertaken in 2007. It shows the numerous areas of progress in the telecommunications sector between 2007 and 2011 as well as changes in usage overtime. This comes close on the heels of the 2011 Residential Consumer Survey Report which was published in February this year.