TRA appeals against 4G court ruling

27 Mar 2013

Bahrain’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) is appealing a verdict of the Urgent Matters Court which ruled in favour of WiMAX operator Menatelecom’s objection to a TRA decision excluding the company from an upcoming 4G mobile licence auction. According to a report by the Gulf Daily News, a court date for the appeal has yet to be announced, but a deadline of 30 April was set for the Administrative Court to rule on whether Menatelecom should take part in the auction. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, fixed-wireless licensee Menatelecom has received permission to offer fully mobile services, and has already issued contracts to roll out a TDD-LTE network re-using its existing 3.5GHz frequencies, but in the run-up to Bahrain’s multi-band spectrum auction the TRA cited a government interpretation of national telecoms policy to restrict bidding to mobile incumbents Batelco, Zain and Viva. The ruling came despite earlier indications that Menatelecom would qualify as an existing mobile operator, while the TRA included in the tender licensing conditions such as rollout stipulations for new entrants. An eleventh hour complaint was heard by the Urgent Matters Court on the same day as bidding applications were due (21 March), making it now look certain that the proposed 31 March auction date will be delayed by at least a month.