TRA grants additional frequency licenses to mobile operators

20 Jul 2019

The Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications, Eng. Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed said that, in line with the 4th National Telecommunications Plan, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), after the approval of the Council of Ministers, granted additional frequency licenses to mobile operators in the 800 and 2600 MHz bands to meet the increasing demand for mobile services in the Kingdom of Bahrain. This step coincides with the changing pattern of consumer use of mobile services. Data consumption rates have grown steadily over the past years as demand for data services, especially social networking applications, has increased, requiring additional frequencies to meet the needs and expectations of consumers.

TRA has contracted with a specialized consulting company to find out the best mechanisms for granting frequency licenses to operators in line with the characteristics of the telecommunications sector in Bahrain in addition to adopting the best international practices in this regard. Accordingly, TRA has published two consultation documents which examined the views of operators and manufacturers on the most appropriate mechanism for granting frequency licenses, including the proposed prices for the frequencies introduced. After extensive consultation, frequency allocation was performed through the administrative granting process of most frequencies (180 MHz out of 200 MHz) and by bidding on the remaining 20 MHz.

“The granting process was part of the requirements of the 4th National Telecommunications Plan to provide additional frequencies to mobile operators to ensure optimal use of this national resource. We look forward to operators’ continued efforts to develop mobile networks and services which will promote Bahrain's leading position in the telecommunications sector regionally and internationally. We value the fruitful efforts of TRA and the Spectrum Strategy and Coordination Committee with all its members that have led to successfully granting these important frequencies." Eng. Kamal added.

"The demand of operators to obtain all frequencies available to them reflects the appropriate granting mechanism that has been adopted to meet the spectrum needs of the operators. We expect that the availability of additional frequencies to operators will have a positive impact in terms of the quality of services available and the sustainability of competition for the benefit of consumers in the Kingdom. The total revenues of this granting process exceeded BHD 15 million.” Says TRA’s Acting General Director General of the Authority, Sh. Nasser bin Mohammed Al Khalifa.

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