Bahrain’s mobile broadband users surge
Manama, August 18, 2014
Mobile broadband accounts for almost nine out of 10 Internet subscriptions in Bahrain, according to figures released by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA).
Of the 1.63 million broadband subscriptions recorded last year, just 11 per cent were described as 'fixed line' while a whopping 89 per cent of people accessed the Internet via pay-per-use, standalone, or add-on mobile broadband packages, reported the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
In its annual report, entitled 'Enabling Innovation', the TRA also revealed that the number of Internet subscriptions had increased by more than 30 per cent between 2012 and 2013.
Despite this huge spike in new connections, there has actually been a 4.5 per cent decline in the number of people employed by the telecoms sector as revenues have only gone up by 3.4 per cent over the same time period.
'With steady growth in telecoms sector revenues in the years 2006 through 2013, the sector's contribution to gross domestic product remained stable at three to four per cent,' said the report.
'The estimated revenue for 2013 is BD423 million ($1.1 billion), compared with BD409 million in 2012.
“About 3,000 employees were working in the telecoms sector in 2013, compared with 3,141 in 2012 - indicating a 4.5 per cent decline.”
The regulator's main focus last year was to encourage the adoption of new technology and advanced information and communications services, according to the report.
“In respect of the latest technologies and services, Bahrain is at the forefront of what current mobile technologies provide, including 2G, 3G, 3.5G, and 4G/LTE - while mobile operators are continuously amending and upgrading the services offered to end users,” said the report.
However, with more and more people now going online, the TRA did sound a note of caution that enhanced security and a comprehensive disaster plan was needed in case the national communications infrastructure suddenly collapses.
“The government insists that measures must be introduced to improve the online safety of users,” said the report.
“It also urges that plans are put in place to respond to and recover from disasters - whether natural or man-made - that impact the national communications infrastructure.”
“The development of a comprehensive disaster recovery response team has already been decided upon,” it added. - TradeArabia News Service