Bahrain's Internet rates 'cheapest in GCC'
Manama, June 14, 2014
Bahrain boasts the cheapest Internet in the region, according to Minister of State for Telecommunications Affairs Shaikh Fawaz bin Mohammed Al Khalifa.
The minister has written to parliament to inform MPs that the country also enjoys 138 per cent broadband coverage, making it one of the best covered in the entire GCC, reported the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
"Mobile phones have seen a reduction in cost of 41 per cent since 2008, while Internet rates have dropped by 63 per cent from 2011, making Bahrain the cheapest country in the region," said Shaikh Fawaz.
"Mobile Internet usage is 87 per cent of the total Internet usage, while fixed line Internet rates have dropped by 53 per cent since 2011 due to competition between operators.
"There are 251,000 fixed lines in Bahrain, with a 20 per cent usage among the population and 35 per cent of those fixed lines are wireless."
Shaikh Fawaz added that telecommunications brought in revenues of BD409 million ($1.07 billion) in 2012, but said that more was being done to improve service and rates in the market.
"Fixed line providers have increased from three in 2007 to 10 in 2012; mobile providers have increased from two to three and Internet providers have doubled from seven to 14 in the past two years - giving the people more options," he said.
"Batelco, VIVA and Zain cover 100 per cent of all of Bahrain's five governorates, while WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) coverage reaches 99.5 per cent at its maximum.
"Disruptions in services occur due to interference between networks, or the revamp of existing networks - more phone masts are necessary to improve the service," he added.-TradeArabia News Service