Bahrain confirms no new entrants in 4G auction

25 Feb 2013

Bahrain’s Cabinet yesterday approved the launch of the country’s 4G mobile licence auction, which will be open only to existing mobile licensees in the country, Gulf Daily News reported, quoting Minister of State for Telecommunications Affairs Shaikh Fawaz bin Mohammed Al Khalifa. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, Bahrain’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) issued on 28 January 2013 an invitation to tender for the award of individual mobile licences and associated frequency concessions in the 2600MHz, 2100MHz, 1800MHz and 900MHz bands via a competitive auction scheduled for 31 March. Existing cellcos Batelco, Zain and Viva are likely to be joined in the auction by WiMAX operator Menatelecom, which has scheduled a TD-LTE launch for June/July this year after having all mobility restrictions removed from its 3.5GHz permit in February 2012, TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes. Batelco’s CEO Shaikh Mohamed bin Isa Al Khalifa commented on the latest development: ‘Batelco is ready with the [LTE] network technology in place and we hope to be successful in winning the required spectrum to deliver this much awaited advancement to our customers.’