Bahrain telecom revenues accounted for 4pc of GDP.
Bahrain telecom revenues top $1.19bn
MANAMA, 9 days ago
The revenues of Bahrain’s telecom industry continued to rise, reaching BD450 million ($1.193 billion) in 2015 compared to BD430 million in 2014, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority’s (TRA) latest Annual Market Indicators Report said.
The latest figure represents 4 per cent of Bahrain’s gross domestic product (GDP, the report said.
The report reveals that consumer welfare is improving steadily through the price drops of services because of increased competition. The evidence of this is an increase of penetration rates in various markets across the sector.
Licensed revenue decreased by 5 per cent from BD383 million in 2014 to BD363 million in 2015, while unlicensed revenue , such as from handset devices increased by 88 per cent from BD47 million in 2014 to BD87.5 million in 2015. The decrease in licensed revenues was due to hyper-competition and pressure on prices and profitability, it said.
Fixed telephony is being outpaced by mobile due to the freedom of movement offered by mobile, as well as its cost effectiveness and the improved quality of mobile networks, and is indicated by outgoing traffic from mobile to fixed representing only 3 per cent out of total domestic minutes.
The latest market data shows that as of Q3 of 2016 there were 241,000 fixed telephony subscriptions compared to 242,000 subscriptions in 2015 and 247,000 subscriptions in 2014. This decrease was reflected in the yearly revenue of fixed telephony as it dropped by BD1 million between 2015 and 2014.
Also in mobile, the report indicates a 5 per cent increase in off-network traffic between 2014 and 2015 due to free off-net offers by operators, allowing consumers to call outside of their service provider’s network to other networks.
Broadband subscription and penetration has continued to increase rapidly over the last year as it reached 2.3 million subscriptions with 164 per cent penetration at the end of Q3 2016, compared to 2 million subscriptions with 145 per cent penetration at the end of 2015.
At the end of 2015, 83 per cent of broadband subscribers were on plans with advertised speeds of 2Mbps and above comparing to 72 per cent in 2014 and only 15 per cent in 2010. The yearly usage of mobile broadband doubled between 2014 and 2015 from 61,000 terabytes to 121,000 terabytes, mainly due to rising usage of different applications and additional free data offered by mobile operators.
Fiber optics network services are increasingly becoming the most popular technology for reliable and fast data transmission over long distances, it said.
The number of fixed broadband subscriptions reached 78,000 at the end of Q3, 2016 compared to 72,800 in 2015 and 58,500 in 2014. – TradeArabia News Service