Bahrain’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has issued a decision on pricing and other terms for Batelco’s international connectivity services. The body noted the determination aims to ensure an efficient international connectivity market, as well as encourage and enable telecoms companies to invest in international cable routes that land in Bahrain.
In response to concerns raised by licensees, the TRA undertook a market review of international connectivity which highlighted, among other things, Batelco’s control of access to three of the four submarine cables landing in the country, as well as the high prices that licensed operators pay for international connectivity services in Bahrain compared to other countries. As a result of the review, the TRA has imposed new regulatory measures on Batelco including price regulation that will enable Bahrain to compete more effectively with neighbouring states, by making it more appealing to users of services that rely on international connectivity.
Commenting on the decision, TRA Bahrain General Director Philip Marnick said: ‘The Authority believes that this price regulation will permit Batelco to make a reasonable return on existing investments while allowing both them and other operators to invest in new international connectivity services in the future … The Authority believes that these price terms will eliminate any potential barriers to service entry and will allow telecoms and data service providers to provide their consumers with resilient services at competitive prices.’