The Bahrain Telecommunications Regulatory Authority has shortlisted a consortium made up of Kingdom Investments, a Bahraini investment company, and Wataniya Telecom, Kuwait’s mobile operator, for the second mobile telecommunications license in the Kingdom of Bahrain.
The consortium’s bid for the license is based on its assessment that by offering competitive mobile services the Kingdom’s mobile penetration rate can be increased from the current 55 percent, or just over 385,000 customers, to around 80 percent over time.
“We are proud to be on the shortlist and to take part in such an exceptional liberalization process,” said Esam Fakhro, chairman of Kingdom Investments, “the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority is on track towards building a world class competitive telecommunications environment in Bahrain, and we believe that Wataniya Telecom’s expertise in regional growth
patterns will bring value Bahrain’s telecommunications market and economy.”
The same Kuwaiti-Bahraini partnership introduced competition to the mobile telecommunications sector in Kuwait three years ago. “We have great plans for Bahrain, and if we are given the chance to become a player in the Bahraini market, we will build a successful company focused around our customers with substantial benefits to the local economy in its entirety as we have done in Kuwait and Tunisia,” stated Faisal Al-Ayyar, chairman of Wataniya Telecom.
Kingdom Investments’ shareholders are Bahraini companies and entrepreneurs with a current specific focus of participating in the development of the telecommunications industry, in line with the Bahrain government’s stated vision towards the development of the private sector.
Wataniya Telecom entered the Kuwaiti market three years ago as the competitor to the former monopoly (MTC). Today, Wataniya Telecom is the country’s leading mobile operator with more than 50 percent share of the Kuwaiti market.
Wataniya Telecom expanded in November 2002 through acquisition of 50 percent of Tunisia’s second licensed mobile communications operator, Tunisiana. Wataniya Telecom is listed on
the Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) and with over 40,000 shareholders, has a market capitalization exceeding $1.5 Billion.
Launched in December 1999, Wataniya Telecom is the second licensed GSM (Global System for Mobile Communication) mobile operator in the State of Kuwait. With over 675,000 subscribers, the Company has been a driving force in increasing the mobile communications market penetration in Kuwait to over 54 percent of the population. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )