Kingdom to decide if three’s a crowd next month

9 Jan 2008

Bahrain’s Telecoms Regulatory Authority (TRA) director Alan Horne told Reuters yesterday that the country will decide whether to open its mobile market to a third operator by the end of February. By that date the regulator will also decide whether to introduce mobile number portability and whether to introduce changes to tariffs as part of a wider telecoms review, Horne added. If Bahrain does auction a third licence, the process of inviting and evaluating bids could take about six months, he said. The island kingdom’s mobile market is currently a duopoly of state-run Batelco and Kuwaiti-owned Zain Bahrain, with the former accounting for a 71.4% share of subscribers at the end of September 2007 according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, with cellular penetration well in excess of 100%.