MANAMA: Internet services in Bahrain are becoming more affordable, with 99.7 per cent of respondents to a Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) survey saying they had used the Internet in the last three months.
The latest Telecommunications Services Residential Market Survey report published by the regulator also found that as many as 85pc of the people surveyed were satisfied with their telecommunications services.
While almost all respondents said they were also using mobile telephony services, a decline was seen in the percentage of users having two or more mobile SIM cards, at 14 per cent in 2019 compared with 38pc in 2017.
This, said the TRA, reflects development in mobile telephony packages, such as the introduction of new and comprehensive packages as well as the change in usage pattern, specifically the significantly increasing use of mobile data and the decreasing use of traditional telecoms services, such as voice calls and SMSes.
Respondents said the main reason for having more than one SIM card was to have separate numbers for business and personal use.
The survey found that the percentage of households with fixed telephone line had come down to 8pc in 2019 from 13pc in 2017, with more households now preferring mobile phone services.
According to the report, most respondents wanted further reductions in prices and improvements in quality of telecom services, which the regulator said it was working towards by encouraging competition among operators and service providers.
The TRA has also lauded the telecommunications sector for its role in combating the spread of Covid-19.
“The advanced telecom infrastructure in Bahrain and the high penetration rates for various services, in particular the Internet services, have contributed to supporting the government’s efforts to effectively combat the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic,” said the regulator’s acting general director Shaikh Nasser bin Mohamed Al Khalifa.
“The high penetration rate of Internet services has supported the government’s efforts to activate education and work remotely. The availability of high speeds and large data capacity has helped support the implementation and use of the applications necessary to perform the tasks of education and work remotely.”
The latest Global Competitiveness Report published by the World Economic Forum in October 2019 had ranked Bahrain fourth globally in terms of the percentage of individuals using the Internet.
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