Batelco cuts rates for licensed operators
Manama, September 19, 2009
Batelco has slashed charges for its interconnection and access services offered to other licensed operators, Bahrain's Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has said.
The cost of wholesale international leased line has been reduced by more than 20 per cent for circuits to some regions.
Charges have also been reduced by up to 40 per cent for leased lines used to provide data services to businesses.
The TRA said it had approved the reference offer for Batelco services.
The reductions will allow other licensed operators to offer more competitive retail prices.
'The approval of reference offer prices for Batelco services is an important part of the regulatory calendar and is one traditionally fraught with challenges from both sides,' TRA general director Alan Horne said.
'I would like to take this opportunity to thank both teams for their diligence and co-operation in reaching a common understanding in what is essentially a complicated matter,' he added.
'Batelco's continued improvement in managing its costs at the wholesale and network level are reflected in the reductions in charges for many of the services contained within the reference offer,' TRA markets and competition director Rob Middlehurst said.
'These reductions will allow other licensed operators, which rely on these essential inputs from Batelco, to offer more competitive retail prices to both business and retail customers.
'Notably in the newly approved charges the cost of wholesale international leased line has been reduced by more than 20 per cent for circuits to some regions and for leased lines, used to provide data services to businesses, the charges have been reduced by up to 40 per cent.
'Whilst these two services focus on the business market the price reductions for Internet access services in May 2009 provided significant benefits to residential customers that have been witnessed in retail broadband prices.'
Batelco is required under the terms of the Telecommunication Law and its licences to offer wholesale services to other licensed operators.
Essentially these services allow subscribers from one network to communicate with subscribers on another network.
Each year the prices charged by Batelco for these services are reviewed and submitted to TRA for approval.
Over the past two years there have been significant reductions in the prices of many of these services. This has contributed to the development of a more competitive communications market and an environment conducive to investment by all market players.
Consumers have enjoyed the benefits of reduced costs in the form of the lower retail prices for services such as access to the Internet.
TRA anticipates that the savings in costs paid by other licensed operators in the charges they have to pay to Batelco to such services will continue to flow through to end-users. – TradeArabia News Service