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Bahrain Develops Robust Telecoms Infrastructure for the Future

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Bahrain – Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband – Statistics and Analyses

Just released, this edition of Paul Budde Communication’s focus report on Bahrain outlines the major developments and key aspects in the telecoms markets.

The telecommunications sector in Bahrain is robust and progressive and it contributes about 4% a year to the Kingdom’s GDP. Bahrain is striving to drive further growth in the telecoms sector in 2020 by ensuring it is competitive and adaptable to market dynamics.

The major telecoms operators include Batelco, STC Bahrain and Zain Bahrain. The industry is regulated by Telecommunications Regulator (TRA) which has been working hard to resolve any regulatory or spectrum hurdles in readiness for 5G. This government support, along with proactive operators, resulted in Batelco launching the first commercial 5G network in Bahrain in mid-2019.

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Batelco also undertook a significant operational restructure in 2019 and launched Bahrain’s National Broadband Network operated by BNET. Bahrain’s telecommunications industry is guided by its Fourth National Telecommunications Plan which focuses on fibre-optic infrastructure deployment and establishing affordable prices for high-speed access.

Overall, the mobile broadband sector is poised for growth with 4G networks in place and a high mobile subscriber penetration paving the way for adoption.

This BuddeComm report provides statistics and analysis on the key sectors of Bahrain’s telecom market, presenting an overview of the regulatory environment, the fixed network operators and services, telecom infrastructure, mobile operators and mobile infrastructure, supported by statistics. The report includes a range of subscriber forecasts through to 2024.

BuddeComm notes that the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in 2020 is having a significant impact on production and supply chains all around the world. During this time, the telecoms sector may experience a downturn in mobile device and ICT equipment production and a decline in consumer spending on telecoms services. Overall progress towards 5G may also be postponed or slowed down in some countries. Please also note: Industry forecasts contained in this report have not taken Coronavirus into consideration as it is yet largely unknown what the long-term impact will be.

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Key developments:

  • There is evidence that fixed-broadband penetration is rising in Bahrain.
  • In mid-2019 the TRA renewed the mobile frequency licences held by Batelco and Zain for another ten-year period.
  • Zain Bahrain’s data revenues have been steadily increasing since at least 2015.
  • The TRA was offering more mobile spectrum for tender in mid-2019.
  • Batelco’s split into two divisions was formally finalised in May 2019.

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