The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) of the Kingdom of Bahrain officially inaugurated a new Telecom Mast Permitting Office, which will be responsible for regulating and rectifying telecom towers. The Office will be responsible for coordinating with the relevant government bodies, including the Ministry of Works, Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning, the Supreme Council for Environment and the Civil Aviation Affairs to obtain required permits and No-Objection Certificates from these bodies prior to granting the final permit by TRA for deploying telecom towers. This will ensure the optimal implementation of the provisions of the Prime Ministerial Decision No. 45 of 2015 (“Decision 45”) that promulgate the Regulation concerning Public Radio-communications Stations. Based on Decision 45, TRA appointed a consulting firm to develop a framework and regulations for the deployment of telecom towers and the establishment of a specialized office to ensure the implementation of these regulations.
TRA has recently completed the development of engineering conditions and standards related to the technical and aesthetic aspects, in coordination with the relevant government bodies, to deploy telecom towers according to both the provisions of Decision 45 and the best international engineering practices. A specialized technical team will carry out the approval processes and ensure that operators comply with all new engineering conditions and standards prior to granting final permits. The specialized team will conduct site visits to ensure that telecom towers comply with the general safety requirements and engineering specifications and to audit technical information and sites of existing and planned telecom towers. The team will also coordinate with operators to implement the plan to rectify unpermitted telecom towers to ensure that all telecom towers comply with the new engineering conditions, standards and specifications. TRA has recently used an electronic system to manage the telecom towers permit process and to process applications for tower sharing between operators.
TRA’s Technical & Operations Director, Eng. Mohammed Alnoaimi stated “One of TRA’s strategic objectives is to develop regulations aiming at ensuring a secure and advanced telecommunications infrastructure. In view of the importance of telecom towers as an important component of the telecommunications infrastructure and the TRA's insistence on deploying towers according to the best international engineering standards and practices in this field, TRA has contracted with a specialized consulting firm to provide consultancy, technical and operational support to the new Telecom Mast Permitting Office. This will enable the office to carry out the approval processes and monitor the implementation of the telecom towers rectification plan to ensure that all towers comply with applicable regulations and requirements. Since August 2016, TRA has issued 50 permits for the deployment of new telecom towers that comply with all the conditions of the concerned bodies.”
“TRA exerts significant efforts to ensure that small towers with integrated architectural forms which are consistent with the surrounding environment and landscape are deployed instead of the current traditional tower. In collaboration with all concerned government bodies, TRA aims to have a radical change over the next few years in the forms, types and sizes of telecom towers without impacting rapid technological development and progress. The consulting firm implements a comprehensive training program for Bahraini engineers in TRA, ensuring that these engineers have the knowledge and expertise necessary to continue to deploy telecom towers according to the best engineering standards and practices in the future." Eng. Mohammed added.
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