Bahrain’s Telecoms Regulatory Authority (TRA) has published the final tender documents for the auction of the country’s third mobile network operating licence, after its board formally approved the competitive auction process. The documents are available on the TRA’s website. The auction will take the form of a multi-stage qualification process with a final financial round for suitably qualified bidders. In order to be eligible, prospective bidders are required to register and pay a non-refundable fee of BHD2,500 (USD6,650) no later than 13 October. Registration will also allow prospective bidders to seek clarification on the information provided in the documents, and the closing date for submitting questions is 16 October. The final deadline to receive bids is 13 November. After reviewing the initial pre-qualification information submitted by the bidders, the TRA will announce on 18 November the names of those going forward to the final phase, and the date for accepting financial bids. In the interest of transparency the tender documents contain all of the details of the pre-qualification requirements, as well as the technical evaluation criteria and thresholds to be used for bid evaluation.
Alan Horne, General Director of the TRA, said, ‘The award process is designed to ensure that the previously stated aims set out in the Telecommunications Strategic Retail Market Review published earlier this year are met. TRA expects the winning bidder to be an experienced international player capable of offering innovative and affordable mobile services, to strengthen competition in Bahrain and deliver tangible socio-economic benefits to the Kingdom.’