Seef District, Kingdom of Bahrain: The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) of the Kingdom of Bahrain held a workshop on the 5th of February, 2020 to shed light on the success of the national broadband network project and share its experience with other regulators from around the region.
The National Broadband Network project was a key objective in the government’s vision through the 4th National Telecom Plan. In simple terms, this project is the result of Batelco having been split into two separate entities which are independent of each other. The newly formed “BNET” is a wholesale organization managing Bahrain’s Fixed infrastructure. Batelco is one of the existing operators in the Kingdom that would lease this infrastructure, along with STC Bahrain and Zain Bahrain among other ISPs to offer retails services to end users. This led to the establishment of a new economic regulatory framework in line with Government’s policy directions under the 4th National Telecommunications Plan, changing the dynamics of competition in Bahrain from one based on infrastructure, to one based on the provision of innovative services as superfast broadband speeds become the gold standard across the local industry.
As the first country in the MENA region to have successfully separated the incumbent into two entities and created an entirely new entity with the responsibility of providing all licensees access to a single National Broadband Network, regulators from the GCC have expressed keen interest in benefiting from Bahrain’s experience. Thus the TRA has organized this workshop for attendees including delegates from TRA UAE, CITC in Saudi, TRA Oman and CITRA in Kuwait.
In a statement, Shaikh Nasser Bin Mohamed Al Khalifa, Acting General Director of TRA Bahrain said that, “the necessity for the national broadband network project to become a reality was very clear, as the link between ultra-fast internet and economic opportunities and possibilities were undeniable. Through careful consideration, we determined that the best way for Bahrain to ensure that the NBN project was indeed successful, and while capitalizing on its unique geographic characteristics which could avoid the need for unnecessary duplication of networks, the Authority proceeded with the development of a new regulatory framework that had at its core the invigoration of competition, the launch of innovative products and services and the ubiquitous fibre coverage of Bahrain”.
The TRA firmly believes that consumers and businesses will reap the rewards of this new framework, expecting operators to compete based on enhanced services, and for the impact of the new national broadband network to be felt for generations to come, across all sectors, serving as a major component in the Government’s larger strategy of becoming a hub for ICT and a focal-point of innovation.
Since its establishment in 2002, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) of the Kingdom of Bahrain has been working with government, consumers, operators and investors to develop the country into the region’s most modern communications hub and to facilitate the growth of the market. As an exemplary Regulator for the region, TRA Bahrain independently carries out its duties in a transparent and non-discriminatory manner. More information about TRA can be viewed at www.tra.org.bh
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© Press Release 2020