Bahrain broadband services 'affordable'
Manama, June 4, 2014
Bahrain is one of a handful of countries that has already achieved the broadband commission target for affordable broadband service, which is below five per cent of gross national income (GNI) per capita, it has emerged.
Revealing the latest statistics on the kingdom's ICT and telecoms market at a Press conference, ITU secretary-general Dr Hamadoun Toure said Bahrain was among the region's most vibrant and advanced markets for ICT services, with high penetration of mobile cellular and broadband Internet, low prices, and the top-performing Telecommunications Regulatory Authority that has been repeatedly recognised internationally for its forward-looking approach to ICT development.
"ICT services in Bahrain are very affordable," he said, with Bahrain ranked 34th in the ICT Price Basket (IPB) with a value of 1.2 in 2012, reported the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
The Press conference was held on the opening day of GSR14.
"Prices for all three services included in the IPB are relatively affordable," he said.
"Fixed-telephone prices are the cheapest at 0.4 per cent of GNI per capita, followed by mobile-cellular prices at 1.1 per cent of GNI per capita and fixed-broadband prices at 2 per cent of GNI per capita," he added.
"Fixed-telephone subscriptions in Bahrain reached 290,000 at the end of last year, with a penetration of 22 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants - well above the world average of 16 per cent and the GCC average of 17 per cent."
Mobile-cellular subscriptions reached almost 2.2 million at end of last year, with a penetration of 166 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants - well above the average penetration in Arab countries (110 per cent) and the average global penetration (96 per cent), he said.
"At the end of last year, 82 per cent of households in Bahrain had Internet access while more than 90 per cent had computers - making the country one of the world's most connected nations.
"By end of last year, fixed (wired) broadband subscriptions in Bahrain reached 175,000, with a penetration of 13 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants - the highest penetration among the GCC countries (average of 7.6 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants) and above the world average penetration of 10 per cent.
"Additionally, fixed wireless broadband is also popular in Bahrain, with nine subscriptions per 100 inhabitants in 2013, representing 8 per cent of all wireless broadband subscriptions," he added.
He said Bahrain's mobile-broadband market was growing fast, and had reached around 1.5 million active mobile-broadband subscriptions by end of last year, a penetration of 115 per cent - well above the world (32 per cent), the Arab states (24 per cent), and GCC (62 per cent) penetration.-TradeArabia News Service