Manama, Mar. 23 (BNA): Fixed and mobile broadband prices in Bahrain are shown the lowest among Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Arab countries, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has said in its 2020 Arab Telecommunications Retail Price Benchmarking Report.
With regard to mobile services, telecom operators in Bahrain offer competitive prices at the GCC and Arab level, specifically in high-usage packages.
Prices of fixed broadband in Bahrain decreased significantly by up to 47% between 2019 and 2020, the report indicated.
This decrease is attributable to the TRA’s role in enhancing competition by working on a number of strategic projects, among most significant is the Batelco separation, contributing to the creation of the National Broadband Network (BNET), it said
The report evaluates prices of telecommunications services in the Arab countries in comparison with the prices of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries (OECD).
The report reiterates that the regulatory framework adopted by TRA Bahrain and its competition-building initiatives continue to achieve more benefits for users.
In accordance to the latest market data, the broadband penetration rate by the end of 2020 reached 137%, whereas Internet data usage in 2020 compared to 2019 increased by 93%.
Due to ease of accessibility at affordable prices of internet services for citizens and residents of Bahrain, 99% of users in the Kingdom are Internet users.
According to the International Telecommunication Union's data for the year 2019, Bahrain ranks first globally in the percentage of Internet users.
“TRA continues to support and foster competition in the telecommunications sector, as it keeps abreast of all economic developments and the latest global technologies in order to achieve more benefits for users,” TRA’s Acting General Director, Shaikh Nasser bin Mohamed Al Khalifa said.
“Following the completion of Batelco separation process and establishment of the National Broadband Network, TRA focused on the implementation of the Fifth National Telecommunications Plan (NTP5), which sheds light on several aspects, including access to fixed broadband using fiber-optics and 5G services for consumers in the Kingdom, in addition to improving the average data download speeds in order to meet accelerated consumer preferences.”
Through these initiatives, TRA seeks to achieve the strategic purpose of ensuring the Kingdom is regionally and internationally at the forefront, allowing Bahrain to be a regional platform for trade, and ICT, he added.