TRA clarifies LTE plan, government yet to decide on new foreign entrants

28 Mar 2012

Mohamed Mahmood, technical director at Bahrain’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), has clarified details of the regulator’s recently announced 4G mobile licensing plans, telling reporters at a Dubai conference that the TRA will begin the tender for licence bids in September 2012 and accept offers by January 2013, with concessions to be awarded in March that year. The director added that the auctions could see a fourth or even fifth market entrant, but the government is yet to decide whether or not it will open up the competition to foreign participants.

The TRA also released a statement yesterday (27 March) to help clarify its spectrum release plan, noting that for the 2600MHz band, a single award process is scheduled ‘between Q4 2012 and Q1 2013’ which will cover the entirety of the 2×70MHz sub-bands which are on offer, despite a later release date (2014) for 2×30MHz of the available spectrum. Alongside the 2600MHz licence competition, the TRA reiterated the additional spectrum which is up for grabs in late 2012/early 2013. 40MHz of 2100MHz band frequencies are on offer (1945-1950MHz, 2135-2140MHz, 1965-1980MHz, 2155-2170MHz), in addition to 2×5.6MHz in the 900MHz band, 2×15MHz in the 1800MHz band, and 15MHz of unpaired frequencies in the 1900MHz range.