Bahrain TRA furthers liberalisation agenda

Bahrain’s Telecoms Regulatory Authority (TRA) has opened up four new types of licences as part of its push towards full liberalisation of the sector by July this year.

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By  Richard Agnew Published  January 27, 2004

Bahrain’s Telecoms Regulatory Authority (TRA) has opened up four new types of licences as part of its push towards full liberalisation of the sector by July this year. As set down in the Kingdom’s Telecoms Decree Law No. 48 of October, 2002, the regulator is now accepting applications from firms interested in provisioning international facilities, very small aperture terminals (VSATs), paging and public access mobile radio services (PAMR). “The offering of these licenses is aimed at creating a telecoms environment capable of delivering enhanced service, efficiency and value for consumers whilst stimulating investment and growth in the economy as a whole,” says Andreas Avgousti, general director of the TRA. “Prospects in these market segments are significant and any number of qualified candidates may apply and can be granted these licenses. The TRA encourages innovative businesses and investors to fully assess the opportunities that exist in these areas and take advantage of the chance to enter what is becoming and increasingly dynamic and competitive marketplace,” he adds. The VSAT licence covers the operation of a digital satellite data network with small antenna diameter, for private use only, while the PAMR licence allows use of the technology in dispatch applications, such as truck and taxi fleets. The international facilities licence authorises the termination, landing and establishment of international connectivity in Bahrain and the obligation and right to connect to other licensed networks in the Kingdom. But in order to provide international services, an additional licence is needed. The TRA is continuing to offer licences for internet service providers (ISP) and suppliers of value added services, which it first made available late last year. It also says it is on track to open national fixed service licenses and international service licenses in the Kingdom by 1 July, completing the liberalisation of the telecoms sector.

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