Shaikh Mohamed bin Isa Al Khalifa at the opening of the new centre.
Batelco plans restructuring to cut costs
Manama, November 19, 2012
Bahrain's leading telecom services operator Batelco is to begin implementing a restructuring exercise in January in efforts to reduce costs and streamline operations, it was revealed yesterday.
Batelco Group chief executive Shaikh Mohamed bin Isa Al Khalifa said the exercise would be conducted throughout the year and the results would be visible from early 2014.
"We are looking to reduce operational and other expenses in key areas, internally and externally," he told the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication. "This will mean looking afresh at the way we do business and negotiate contracts for the benefit of the company."
He said the idea is to have lower operational expenses from 2014. "This is part of an overall exercise to make the company more competitive in the existing scenario."
Shaikh Mohamed said it was unfortunate the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) still regarded Batelco as a dominant player in Internet and international calls. "This is the reason we are not able to offer even better, lower and more competitive rates than we do now."
He said the last TRA study conducted in 2008 listed Batelco as a dominant player. "However, since then, the situation has changed with another player coming in and changing the scenario.
"It is time the TRA conducted another study that will prove Batelco is no longer the dominant player. We have lost a big share in international calls in the last four years and are no longer the dominant or the major player."
Shaikh Mohamed said the TRA has to be more flexible on rules and regulations so that Batelco, as well as the other operators, can be helped.
"This will help us all and make the market more competitive, besides making it a win-win situation for the consumer," he added.
Shaikh Mohamed later inaugurated Batelco's new innovation facility 'The Ideas Centre' at its Hamala headquarters, designed to give visitors a sneak peek into the future of information and communication technologies (ICT).
The state-of-the-art modern facility features the latest communication technologies and emerging, still in development services, and is a showcase for the future of communications, said Shaikh Mohamed.
A range of services, including scenario control, which allows users to have control of various elements in their home such as lights and sounds at the single touch of a button using smart mobile applications, are the highlight of the centre.
Also on show are new technologies like digital signage which represents the future of digital interactive marketing.
Visitors will also be able to experience first-hand a variety of gadgets that use proximity communications and M2M (Machine to Machine) technology.
The centre also includes an entrepreneur's zone which is to be used for ICT project development.
Shaikh Mohamed said Batelco is the only player in Bahrain's ICT industry offering services for entrepreneurs to work on their innovative projects.
"We continue to evolve to be more than just a leader in telecommunications by establishing ourselves as a leader in the provision of not only communications solutions but ICT solutions too.-TradeArabia News Service