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Bahrain's regulatory authority implements measures to improve services
There are a number of developments underway in Bahrain which will improve both services and infrastructure going forward. Bahrain already has a progressive telecoms market which is liberalised to a large extent and one of the most open in the region, underpinned by a relatively well-developed regulatory structure. The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) is the primary driver behind many of the key planned improvements to the current telecoms market in Bahrain.
Bahrain's Third National Telecommunication Plan expired at the end of 2015 and the Fourth National Telecommunications Plan was given approval by the Ministry in May 2016. It will reportedly focus on further developing fibre-optic infrastructure and implementing affordable prices for high-speed access. It also includes consideration of 5G development and readiness. This blueprint for the future will see Bahrain have full fibre optic coverage in three years, according to the TRA's Director-General.
The TRA has been making concerted efforts to improve telecommunication services and over the past year or so has conducted surveys in order to gauge citizen's feedback and subsequently implement measures to make targeted improvements. The area of billing has been of particular focus with the TRA attempting to reduce bill shock in the area of international roaming.
Mobile operators in Bahrain are under pressure amidst falling mobile APRUs which in 2016, are now around half the amount they were in 2008. However revenues from mobile broadband are continuously rising and now contribute over 35% to total broadband revenues in Bahrain compared to only 7% in 2010. In addition mobile broadband usage is growing representing over 50% of total broadband usage today.
The amount of revenue generated by residential users of broadband is significantly higher than that from businesses indicating there are potential growth opportunities in the broadband enterprise sector for both wired and wireless services in Bahrain.
Going forward Bahrain is well positioned and supported by government to make the necessary changes and appropriate measures to ensure it remains one of the most progressive telecoms markets in the Middle East. The operators are now beginning to turn their attention towards Internet of Everything (IoT) initiatives including M2M service offerings.
Key telecom parameters 2013; 2016
Sector | 2013 | 2016
Subscribers to telecoms services (million): (e)
Broadband users | 1.63 | 2.35
Fixed-line telephony | 0.25 | 0.23
Mobile phone | 2.21 | 2.53
(Source: BuddeComm based on industry data)
The results of a strategic review of Bahrain's telecoms market were released in 2015 and identified a number of projects and activities to be concluded over the following 18 months.
The Fourth National Telecommunications Plan was approved in May 2016.
At the end of 2015, Bahrain Telecommunications Company (Batelco) announced a 4% loss in gross revenues compared to 2014. This was due to the increased competition in the market which resulted in decline in subscriber numbers.
While the number of post-paid subscribers in Bahrain is lower than pre-paid this market segment actually contributes around 52% to overall retail mobile market revenues.
In mid 2015 the Global IP Exchange (GIPX) interoperability hub developed by BT and VIVA was launched.
Companies covered in this report include:
Batelco, MenaTelecom, Kalaam Telecom, 2Connect, Noorsat, Zain Bahrain, Viva Bahrain.
1. Executive summary
2. Key statistics
2.1 Country overview
3. Telecommunications market
3.1 Historical overview
3.2 Market analysis
3.3 Recent developments
4. Regulatory environment
4.1 Regulatory authority
4.3 Telecom sector liberalisation in Bahrain
4.3.1 First National Telecommunications Plan
4.3.2 Second National Telecommunications Plan and planned measures
4.3.3 Third National Telecommunications Plan
4.3.4 Fourth National Telecommunications Plan
4.3.5 Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) licences
4.6 Number portability
5. Fixed network operators in Bahrain
5.2 Bahrain telecommunications company (Batelco)
5.2.1 Historical overview
5.2.2 Recent developments
5.3 Alternative operators
5.3.2 Kalaam Telecom
5.3.3 2Connect (revoked)
6. Telecommunications infrastructure
6.1 National telecom network
6.2 International infrastructure
6.2.1 Submarine cable networks
6.2.2 Satellite networks
7. Smart infrastructure
7.1 M2M/IoT/Big Data
7.2 Smart energy
9. Broadband access market
9.1 Market analysis
9.2 Broadband statistics
9.3 Broadband subscriber forecasts
9.3.1 Scenario 1 higher growth
9.3.2 Scenario 2 lower growth
9.4 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP) and Fibre-To-The-Home (FttH)
9.4.1 National Broadband Network (NBN)
9.5 Other fixed broadband services
9.5.1 Fixed wireless (WiFi and WiMAX)
10. Digital economy
10.2.1 Sharing economy
11. Digital media
11.2.2 Video-based services
11.2.3 Broadband TV (IPTV)
11.3 Social media
11.6 On line gaming and gambling
12. Mobile communications
12.1 Market analysis
12.2 Mobile statistics
12.2.1 General statistics
12.3 Mobile voice
12.3.2 Mobile data
12.4 Mobile broadband statistics
12.5 Regulatory issues
12.5.1 Second mobile licence
12.5.2 Third mobile licence
12.5.3 Prepaid subscriber registration
12.5.4 Roaming tariff reduction
12.6 Mobile infrastructure
12.6.1 Brief intro analogue networks
12.6.2 Digital networks
12.7 Major mobile operators
12.7.2 Zain Bahrain
12.7.3 Viva Bahrain / STC Bahrain
12.8 Mobile content and applications
12.8.2 m-banking (payments/loans)
12.9 Mobile handsets
13. Related reports
Exhibit 1 Bahrain National fixed voice services operators
Table 1 Country statistics Bahrain-2016
Table 2 Telecom revenue statistic 2014
Table 3 Telephone network statistics 2016
Table 4 Broadband statistics 2016
Table 5 Mobile statistics 2016
Table 6 National telecommunications authorities
Table 7 GDP growth and inflation 2005-2016
Table 8 Telecom sector revenue 2006-2014
Table 9 Telecom sector revenue breakdown 2012-2014
Table 10 Batelco revenue and profit Bahrain and other-2005 2015
Table 11 Batelco revenue by division-2005 2015
Table 13 Historic-Fixed lines in service and teledensity-1995 2004
Table 14 Fixed lines in service and teledensity 2005 2016
Table 15 ARPU for National calls 2010-2014
Table 16 Historic-Internet users and penetration estimates-1995-2004
Table 17 Internet users and penetration estimates-2005-2016
Table 18 Fixed and mobile broadband subscribers-2012-2016
Table 19 Broadband sector revenue 2010-2014
Table 20 Forecast broadband subscribers higher market growth scenario 2018; 2024
Table 21 Forecast broadband subscribers lower market growth scenario 2018; 2024
Table 22 Bahrain IPTV subscribers Q1 2013; Q1 2014; Q1 2015
Table 23-Facebook Stats for Bahrain compared to other Middle Eastern countries-as at July 2015
Table 24 Historic-Mobile subscribers and penetration rate-1995-2004
Table 25 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate-2005-2016
Table 26 Mobile market revenue 2007-2014
Table 27 Mobile monthly ARPU 2008-2014
Table 28 Bahrain total prepaid mobile subscribers-1999 Q1 2015
Table 29 Zain Bahrain prepaid subscribers-2004-2014
Table 30 SMS message sent 2008-2013
Table 31 Mobile broadband subscribers 2012-2016
Table 32 Accepted cumulative mobile number portability requests 2011-2015
Table 12 Batelco total group mobile subscribers 2005-2015
Table 34 Zain Bahrain revenue, EBITDA, CAPEX and ARPU-2005 2015
Single User License:
Enterprise Wide License:
Batelco, MenaTelecom, Kalaam Telecom, 2Connect, Noorsat, Zain Bahrain, Viva Bahrain.
paul budde communication, buddecomm, telecomunications research, country profile, Broadband Fixed, Broadcasting, Companies (Major Players), Digital Economy, Digital Media, Internet, Mobile & Wireless Broadband and Media, Mobile Communications (voice and infrastructure), Regulations & Government Policies, Strategies & Analyses (Industry & Markets), Telecoms Infrastructure, Bahrain, The Middle East