TRA rules Batelco remains dominant in data connectivity; reduces number porting time

23 Apr 2014

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) of Bahrain has published its determinations of market dominance in domestic data connectivity services (previously labelled by the regulator as leased line services). The services under review are defined as fixed permanent data/voice connections (predominantly for business customers) offering symmetrical, dedicated, secure capacity and guaranteed bandwidth. The relabelled market takes into account the emergence of point-to-multipoint (P2MP) and multipoint-to-multipoint (MP2MP) services as well as a looser definition of dedicated, guaranteed bandwidth which can nonetheless be shared between users. The TRA found that incumbent PSTN operator Batelco continues to hold a Dominant Position in both the wholesale and retail domestic data connectivity services markets nationwide, with the exception of the new-build Amwaj Islands.

Elsewhere, the TRA has significantly reduced the processing time for number portability services, Gulf Daily News reports, with new regulatory revisions dictating that network operators must complete a mobile number portability (MNP) request within eight business hours, down from the previous 48 hour limit. The processing time for a fixed line number porting request has also been slashed from 72 hours to eight, although it can be extended for eight business hours in the event of technical difficulties. MNP was introduced in July 2011 but saw a relatively slow start, with successful portings reaching 59,000 by January 2013, according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, but appears to have picked up in pace, with around 126,000 MNP requests reportedly processed to date.