Bahrain’s TRA set to launch strategic review
Manama, April 19, 2014
The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) is set to embark on a strategic review of the telecommunications market in Bahrain, a report said.
The last time the TRA undertook a similar strategic market review was in 2008, reported the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
TRA recognises that significant competition has developed in Bahrain in the last few years, not least on mobile and broadband services. Consumers have today, in most cases, a wide range of choice of suppliers for services.
The development of effective competition has led to substantial price reductions and new service innovations for consumers and businesses in Bahrain.
A lot of the market developments in the last few years have been positive and have provided benefits to end users, but the TRA acknowledges that the regulatory framework needs to be continuously reviewed to ensure that it reflects developments in what is a vibrant and rapidly changing sector.
The study will critically review current so-called ex-ante market regulation. Ex-ante regulation refers to remedies and obligations which are imposed upon operators with dominant positions in markets. As effective competition develops it is critical for any regulator to make sure that the market interventions in place are relevant and proportionate to the prevailing market situation.
Based on experiences from around the world, over-regulation could stifle the development of a dynamic market, whereas too light-handed regulation may lead to preservation of dominant market positions and, as a consequence, effective market competition cannot develop and provide choice and value to end users.
"The strategic market review is a key initiative for the TRA. The study report and roadmap will set out TRA's views on how the market has developed, but more importantly what should be done to promote an even more effective and dynamic market," TRA general director Mohamed Bubashait said.
"As a sector we face important decisions for the future to ensure that the sector maximises its positive contribution to the development of this nation. Appropriate and proportionate market regulation remains a key component in this regard."
The study aims to identify which parts of the telecom market should in the future be subject to ex-ante regulation, but also where current market regulation and remedies may be lifted. The study will make proposals on other regulatory measures, which would stimulate a more dynamic market.
The market review will evaluate not only competitive and technological developments in Bahrain but also review of international experiences and their potential implication for Bahrain, as well as trends and drivers for the future.
The study results, including the proposed implementation roadmap, are expected to be available in June. – TradeArabia News Service