Menatelecom enters court over 4G exclusion

21 Mar 2013

WiMAX operator Menatelecom is taking legal action against a decision of Bahrain’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) excluding it from the 4G mobile licence auction due to start at the end of this month. Trade Arabia reports that Menatelecom yesterday filed the case at the Urgent Matters Court, claiming that it meets the requirements to take part in the multi-band auction, which is restricted to domestic mobile operators. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database observes that the regulator officially amended Menatelecom’s original fixed-wireless 3.5GHz operating licence to remove all mobility restrictions in February 2012, but a subsequent government decision ruled that the three incumbent cellular operators Batelco, Zain and Viva are the only three mobile licensees qualified to enter the upcoming frequency auction in the 900MHz, 1800MHz, 2100MHz and 2600MHz bands. Court documents said: ‘Menatelecom has filed a case against the decision taken by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, to not include it amongst the three telecommunication services, Batelco, Viva and Zain, in the auction of the fourth generation mobile telephone frequencies.’ The case is reportedly being reviewed today ahead of the afternoon deadline for auction applications.

In January Menatelecom signed a contract with China’s Huawei Technologies to deploy a nationwide 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network based on time division duplex (TDD) technology.