Bahrain awards LTE licences
Manama, September 19, 2013
Bahrain's Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) today allocated the necessary spectrum to the current holders of IMTL licences in order to enable them to provide Long Term Evolution (LTE) services.
LTE promises to breathe new life into the kingdom's telecommunications sector, TRA said as its chairman Dr Mohammed Al Amer handed over new frequency licences to the CEOs of Batelco, Zain and Viva at the TRA headquarters.
Dr Al Amer hailed the initiatives of the mobile operators in bringing 21st century telecommunications to Bahrain’s citizens and consumers.
In recent months a revitalised frequency award process was launched to offer radio frequencies to Batelco, Zain and Viva in order to provide mobile services, including LTE, as a matter of national priority, the TRA statement said.
The eligible licensees were invited to respond to a consultation document, which set out TRA’s proposals for the award of rights to any or all of the existing IMTL (Individual Mobile Telecommunications Licence) holders, to use frequencies available in the 900MHz, 1800MHz and 2100MHz bands to promote current technologies and the provision of LTE services in the kingdom, it said.
Although LTE is predominantly a mobile technology, its use is not limited to mobile networks. LTE has emerged as the preferred evolutionary path for fixed wireless access technology requirements, it said.
"It is therefore not surprising that Menatelecom has announced its intention to implement LTE national fixed wireless services using its currently licensed radio frequencies. To facilitate Menatelecom’s launch of LTE, TRA has provided Menatelecom with the necessary code for network management, authentication and other personalised services. This should enable Menatelecom to increase its spectrum utilization efficiency to deliver higher capacity products to its customers," it said.
Consumers and citizens should benefit immediately from the additional release of prime spectrum used by handset providers for the provision of mobile LTE services, whilst national fixed wireless consumers will also be able to experience the benefits of LTE technology in terms of quality and speed in a fixed or nomadic environment providing an additional layer of competition, it said.
TRA will closely monitor the roll-out and demand for LTE in the kingdom to determine if and when additional frequencies should be offered to the sector, it said.
"TRA believes that the introduction of state-of-the-art technologies such as LTE into the market will encourage investor confidence in the country’s telecommunications infrastructure, which in turn is good for the citizen, good for the consumer and good for the kingdom," the statement said. - TradeArabia News Service