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Batelco gets regulatory reprieve from TRA

Manama, March 10, 2013

Bahrain's leading telecom services operator Batelco will no longer be obliged to offer wholesale international services on a regulated basis, according to a new ruling by Bahrain's telecom watchdog.

Following a review of competition in international markets, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has concluded that Batelco is not dominant in two wholesale markets in which international services are supplied and that no other operator holds a position of dominance, reported the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.

The TRA's finding that Batelco is not dominant in the supply of wholesale international services is an important step in ensuring that regulatory intervention only focuses on markets in which there is dominance of market power.

This is the first decision in which an operator previously holding a dominant position in a wholesale market has now been found not to be dominant, the report stated.

"This is an important decision as it results in the removal of regulatory obligations in a wholesale market where competition has started to emerge," remarked TRA general director Mohamed Bubashait.

"There is an increasingly diverse range of options for sourcing international capacity into and out of Bahrain, and it is important to ensure that the regulatory framework in the kingdom is adapted to reflect these recent competitive developments," he added.

In reviewing competition in the relevant markets, TRA took into account the arrival of a number of competing international cables into Bahrain, as well as recent efforts by other licensed operators to develop their own capacity using fibre through Saudi Arabia.

TRA also took into account submissions received from operators on a draft determination that was issued for public consultation during 2012.-TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Bahrain | Telecom | TRA |

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