Bahrain’s national PTO Bahrain Telecommunications Company (Batelco) reported net profits of BHD64.7 million (USD171.66 million) for the first nine months of the year, a 10% rise on the corresponding period in 2003. Gross revenues rose by 7% to BHD152.7 million as the company continued to benefit from its dominant position in the Bahraini market. The telco currently has a stranglehold on the fixed line sector and, with 523,000 mobile users at the end of September, also has a sizeable lead on its sole wireless rival MTC-Vodafone, which boasted just 20,000 subscribers by mid-2004. Despite Batelco’s seemingly unassailable position, the telecoms landscape could alter in the future following a change in the regulatory environment. The Bahraini telecoms market is now liberalised and new operators can compete in the fixed line local and international calls market via carrier pre-selection (CPS) licences. Moreover, six new internet service provider (ISP) licences have been granted and Batelco says it will redouble its efforts to stave off the threat of competition.