For the First Time Since the Liberalization of the Market, TRA Renews 10 Year Mobile Frequency Licenses for Batelco and Zain

08 Jun 2019

The Kingdom of Bahrain’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) welcomed a request from two mobile network operators to renew mobile frequency licenses that were granted to them in conjunction with the promulgation of the Telecommunications Law and the liberalization of the Mobile Market in 2002. This is the first request of its kind where licensees invoked their right to request a renewal for an additional 10 year period after the initial 15 year license duration has elapsed.

Accordingly, TRA engaged with consultancy firms to determine the Spectrum Usage Right Fees applicable for the additional 10 year period. Spectrum is regarded as a scarce resource and therefore needs to be carefully assigned and studied to determine its true value.

With the exponential growth of data traffic, it is crucial for mobile operators to not only maintain their allocated spectrum but to also increase their spectrum portfolios to avoid service degradation. The renewed licenses in combination with other plans will allow Batelco and Zain to sustain and enhance their wireless services provided to their customers.

Through such initiatives, the Authority reiterates its commitment to encourage the adoption, deployment, and optimization of the latest technologies that support the growth of the market and delivery of world-class services to consumers and to ensure that broadband services of high quality and competitive prices are available to all local stakeholders.

“The request from Batelco and Zain to renew their licenses is a reflection of the healthy and competitive environment created by the TRA’s regulatory framework over the past 17 years.” Said the Acting General Director of TRA Sh. Nasser Bin Mohammed Al Khalifa.

Sh Nasser added: “Since the liberalization of the Telecommunications sector, it is worth noting that there are 25 licensees holding 81 licenses permitted to provide a variety of telecom services to individual and business consumers in the Kingdom of Bahrain.”

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