Watchdog pressure spurs Batelco price cuts

Bahrain's telecoms regulator has approved Batelco's plans to slash broadband tariffs.

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By  Reuters Published  July 8, 2007

Bahrain's telecoms watchdog has approved Bahrain Telecommunications Co.'s (Batelco) plan to slash broadband rates for some business tariffs by up to 50 %, and has requested lower prices for wholesale buyers.

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has exerted increasing pressure on Batelco in recent months to cut prices, including wholesale rates - fees charged to rival operators for the use of Batelco's extensive telecoms network.

"We consider this reduction to be just a step in the right direction and TRA will continue making efforts aimed at bringing prices of telecommunications services...down to internationally acceptable levels," TRA director Alan Horne said in a statement.

Batelco once enjoyed a monopoly in Bahrain, before the telecoms sector was liberalised in 2004. The firm, which sees future growth outside Bahrain, has criticised the TRA for introducing what it said was discriminatory pricing policies.

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