Bahrain’s former telecoms monopoly Batelco has announced a net profit of BHD24.8 million (USD66 million) in the first quarter of this year, an increase of 7% versus Q1 2006, whilst quarterly revenues grew by 26% year-on-year to BHD66.5 million. A company statement read that Batelco is focused on a regional growth strategy in the Middle East in the broadband and mobile sectors in particular. It recently purchased a 20% shareholding in SabaFon, Yemen’s largest cellco, and this week was named as one of three companies to pre-qualify for a fixed line licence in Saudi Arabia, where it intends to launch fixed and wireless broadband access services, given the opportunity. Domestically, Batelco has recently introduced ADSL2+ technology with the capability to deliver maximum download speeds of 10Mbps and says it is on target to deploy commercial nationwide 3G and 3.5G mobile services in the last quarter of this year. The telco’s project to migrate all its services to a next-generation network (NGN) also continues.