Viva’s interconnection rates regulated

17 May 2013

Bahrain’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has decided that Viva Bahrain holds a dominant market position in the provision of mobile call/messaging interconnection services on its network, and therefore the regulator will extend regulation of mobile termination rates (MTRs) in a non-discriminatory manner to Viva. Viva is required to publish a Reference Interconnection Offer (RIO) with ‘fair, non-discriminatory’ tariffs and terms within three months of the publication of this decision. Prior to this decision, based on a proposal by the TRA in August 2012, no dominance decision applied in respect of Viva’s mobile network, despite the TRA’s recent calculations that the Saudi-backed newcomer has become the largest operator in Bahrain in terms of subscriber numbers (although TeleGeography notes that Viva has a lower share of higher-value post-paid users than rivals Batelco and Zain Bahrain). In its 2010 Dominance Determination (ahead of Viva’s launch in March that year), the TRA determined that both Batelco and Zain were dominant in wholesale termination services on their respective mobile networks.