According to the latest 2020 ICT Pricing Trends Report of Measuring Digital Development, issued recently by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Bahrain elevates to the highest ranking of generations, from Third to Fourth generation. The report verifies the variety of influences impacting the pricing levels for ICT services in a region; however, one governing influence on overall affordability is the resilience of a regulatory environment.
As found by the ITU study, Bahrain amongst Arab countries, is ranked 2nd for pricings in regard to mobile broadband services, as it maintains affordable fixed broadband rates yet a large - scale data capacity. In addition, Bahrain’s mobile broadband prices account for 1.51% of GNI p.c., whereas fixed broadband prices account for 1.82% of GNI p.c, which is below the UN affordability target, therefor allowing Bahrain to meet and outperform the Sustainable Development Goal target before 2025, holding prices below two percent of GNI per capita.
In praising exerted efforts, Sh. Nasser Bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, Acting General Director of TRA Bahrain congratulates and tributes the Kingdom’s evolution in regulatory framework to HM King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa, and to HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa Crown Prince and Prime Minister. According to Sh. Nasser, this achievement validates the Kingdom’s advancements in both the field of telecoms, and excellence of enabling environment of digital transformation, valuing the wise leadership's guidance in expanding Bahrain and shaping it into a regional telecom and ICT hub, seeking to continue efforts to develop the telecommunications sector in the Kingdom of Bahrain.
Sh. Nasser confirms “The regulatory environment's resilience is a significant facilitator of both ICT adoption and price reduction. Regulators in this sector play a significant role in safeguarding consumers benefits through regulating competitiveness between Operators. Regulators also impact market structure and competitiveness through awarding licenses, allocating and designating spectrum, facilitating interoperability and infrastructure exchange, and regulating investment, among other things. A country ascends the regulatory ladder to a higher generation of ICT regulation as its regulatory environment matures.”
He added “The pandemic of COVID-19 has demonstrated the critical necessity of connectivity. This position will only expand in the following years as the globe continues to cope with impacts of the pandemic and embraces the "new reality." However, continued monitoring of the growth of ICT pricing is crucial for quality management to tackle affordability gaps.”