Bahrain mobile penetration hits 133pc
Manama, January 30, 2012
There were about 1.7 million mobile subscribers in Bahrain at the end of 2011, representing a mobile penetration rate of 133 per cent, the kingdom’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority said.
Domestic mobile originated traffic reached 3.7 billion minutes in 2010, an increase of 86 per cent between 2009 and 2010. This represented in excess of three hours of communication per month per mobile, the report said.
International traffic grew by 35 per cent between 2009 and 2010 and reached 2 billion minutes despite the increasing use of (free) internet calls. During 2010, 80 per cent of total international calls (minutes) were made to South Asian countries.
In its sixth telecommunications markets indicators report, the TRA said the annual gross telecommunications turnover topped BD360 million in 2010, an increase of 6.5 per cent on 2009.
The report covers a large range of telecommunications services indicators, such as the number of subscribers, penetration rates, calls usage, telecommunications revenues, and take-up of regulated access and interconnection services.
The telecommunications sector remains a major contributor to national wealth and its revenues represented 4.4 per cent of GDP in 2010.
In 2010, approximately 2,600 employees worked directly in the telecommunications sector, an increase of 43 per cent since market liberalisation in 2003, the report said.
Compared to 2007, overall consumer satisfaction increased by between 15 per cent and 33 per cent according to a survey conducted by Nielson on behalf of TRA in 2011.
Since the introduction of number portability in mid July 2011, about 22,000 numbers have been ported.
At the end of 2011, there were approximately 290,000 internet subscribers in Bahrain, all of whom were broadband subscribers, an increase of 42 per cent between 2010 and 2011. About 45 per cent of them had broadband speed above 1Mbps. Broadband penetration in Bahrain was 23 per cent.
Fixed wireless and mobile broadband are becoming increasingly important ways to access the internet, together representing more than two-thirds of internet subscriptions by the end of 2010. At the end of 2011, there were 126,000 mobile broadband subscribers, the report said.
By the end 2011, there were about 242,000 fixed lines in Bahrain, equating to a fixed line penetration of 19 per cent. The number of fixed PSTN lines declined by just over 7 per cent between 2010 and 2011.
Fixed telephony traffic decreased by 10 per cent between 2009 and 2010 due to increasing use of mobile.
Commenting on the report, TRA’s general director Mohamed Hamad Bubashait said: “The statistics provided in this report show the positive impact that the sector liberalization and the legal framework set up in 2002 has had on the performance of the sector. They also illustrate how TRA’s actions and decisions continue to support the Bahrain Economic Vision 2030. – TradeArabia News Service
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