Introduction

" This study is published pursuant to Articles 3(b)(1), 3(c)(2), 3(c)(4) and Article 54 of the Telecommunications Law. The purpose of the study is to evaluate and benchmark Quality Levels offered by Mobile Network Operators, Batelco, Viva and Zain, in the Kingdom of Bahrain. The independent study was conducted with an objective End-user perspective by Cabinet Directique and does not represent any views of the Authority.

This study is the property of TRA. Any effort to use this Study for any purpose is permitted only upon the Authority’s written consent. This paper is not a legal document and is being published without prejudice to the legal position or the rights and duties of the TRA to regulate the telecommunications market generally."

Quality of service


The availability and quality of modern telecommunications services are critical elements for the success of the Kingdom of Bahrain’s economy. Mobile telecommunications services are heavily used by consumers and businesses, either located in Bahrain or visiting the Kingdom.

In releasing this study, TRA aimed at evaluating and benchmarking quality levels offered by Mobile Network Operators in the Kingdom of Bahrain, Batelco, Viva and, Zain from an end-user perspective, for the following set of services:

The Authority selected in 2010 Directique, an international consulting firm, to conduct the assessment using a test method designed to gather a faithful qualitative record from an end users’ point of view, avoiding assessing quality through a pure technical angle as this is performed by Mobile Operators themselves on a regular basis.

This web portal shows the evolution of the quality of selected services between 2010 and 2014.

COVERAGE


Mobile Network Operators are under a coverage obligation as a condition of their Individual Mobile Telecommunications license (IMTL), and it is the responsibility of TRA to verify and validate that each operator is meeting its obligation.

The license obligation based on the modified IMTL issued on 19 September 2013 requires operators to, using their own mobile telecommunications network, offer licensed services with a coverage of at least 99% of the population in the Kingdom of Bahrain on or before the 19 June 2014.

The license obligation defines the minimum expected population coverage for each Mobile Operator’s own telecommunications network. The coverage is independent of the technology deployed, however in order to determine coverage, measurements have been performed for the following technologies:

2G, 3G and 4G.

It is important to point out that some areas were not accessible to the audit team, being either private land or reserved for government, which explains why the maps do not show any measurements in those areas of the Kingdom. However those areas are not open to general public. With this in mind, results are very good and show that there is no significant coverage difference from one operator to the other.

Directique was also required to audit Mobile Network Operators coverage prediction maps with the actual coverage observed. The maps included in this report contain two layers: a first layer showing the coverage predictions provided by the operators themselves, on top of which, a second layer superimposed is showing results of the coverage measurements.