Bahrain Net among cheapest in region

Mobile service prices dropped by 49% from 2010 to 2020

  
The skyline of illuminated Manama city waterfront at night, Manama city, Bahrain. Image used for illustrative purpose.

The skyline of illuminated Manama city waterfront at night, Manama city, Bahrain. Image used for illustrative purpose.

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Bahrain's Internet prices are the second lowest among Arab countries with services costing up to two per cent of an individual’s income, it was revealed yesterday.Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) acting general director Shaikh Nasser bin Mohammed Al Khalifa added that a 95pc satisfaction rate was registered for mobile phone services last year – up from 82pc in 2011.

He also disclosed that broadband prices reduced by 81pc from 2013 to 2020, while mobile service prices dropped by 49pc from 2010 to 2020.

“There is a national plan for collaborative efforts between the government and the TRA, and we are in the process of implementing the goals of the Fifth National Plan which includes developing the telecommunications infrastructure,” said Shaikh Nasser during a media briefing organised by the National Communication Centre.

“We also want to place Bahrain on the regional map as a hub for IT in addition to providing high-speed Internet services at competitive prices.“This year, we have achieved reaching an Internet speed of 1GigaBit per second which is a critical achievement for users who need high-speed Internet.

“Mobile phone subscriptions rose from 1.5 million in 2010 to more than 1.7m in 2020, while portable broadband rose from 269,189 in 2010 to 1,861,240 in 2020 and wired broadband rose from 67,557 in 2010 to 148,050 in 2020.

“These are all achievements that we must be proud of as Bahrainis.”Shaikh Nasser also revealed that more wired broadband subscriptions (fibre optics) are expected following the separation from Batelco.He also said that in 2010 individuals consumed only 39GB of data annually which has risen to 975GB in 2020, and it is expected to increase further with new applications and more digitilisation.According to the latest TRA report, the monthly price for broadband services has reduced significantly in the last six years – 50Mbps dropped by 66pc (from BD50 to BD16.8), 100Mbps by 68pc (from BD75 to BD24.15), 150 to 250Mbps by 69pc (from BD100 to BD31.5) while 300 to 500Mbps by 72pc (from BD150 to BD42).

“We have also reduced the costs of international roaming by 85pc in the last five years through collaborative efforts with telecommunications regulatory authorities in the GCC with efforts underway for further reductions,” he added.

“We are also the first country in the Arab region to launch the service of switching service providers without losing or changing telephone numbers which was an important step for clients.

“The service previously took around 24 hours but this has now been reduced to an hour or an hour-and-a-half.”Shaikh Nasser also said that 1,473 complaints were registered in 2019, 2,084 in 2020 and 2,009 up to the third quarter of this year with 96pc of the complaints resolved.

He also added that plans are in the pipeline to strengthen networks in new housing towns such as Salman Town, Khalifa Town and East Hidd, among others.

Communication channels with TRA are on the phone number 81188, the application TRA Connect or through www.consumer.tra.org.bhreem@gdn.com.bh

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