Batelco should be barred from fixed-wireless auction, says panel

8 May 2006

Bahrain’s incumbent fixed line operator Batelco should not be awarded a licence for fixed wireless access (FWA) in the 3.5GHz frequency band, in order to support the development of fixed line competition, according to a report by the 2006 Development Review Panel of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA). One of the key recommendations of the panel was to issue 3.5GHz fixed-wireless licences on a fast track basis. It said that whatever approach is used to award spectrum licences, the criteria should focus on rapidly establishing competition in the fixed line market rather than the maximisation of revenues. It added that Batelco should be allocated FWA spectrum only after several alternative operators have been established.