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Low-cost Bahraini broadband is ‘go’

Bahraini telecommunications provider Batelco has unveiled a new, cost-effective ‘light user’ consumer broadband package.

Bahraini telecommunications provider Batelco has unveiled a new, cost-effective ‘light user’ consumer broadband package. This 256Kbyte-speed broadband service is available now, priced at BD10 (approximately US $26) per month. This package compares admirably in price to similar speed services across the region. For example, the UAE operator Etisalat's current 256Kbyte 'light user' broadband package costs US $40 per month, although this is an 'unlimited' offer so users can download as much data as they desire. Batelco's new service features a 2Gbyte monthly data limit (with users e-mailed when they reach 75% of this data capacity), plus the package’s launch coincides with the launch of Batelco’s new Customer Care Initiative. “As Batelco is a socially responsible company, we have introduced this initiative to ensure that residential broadband subscribers don’t receive unexpectedly high bills when they exceed their threshold levels,” explained Batelco's chief executive, Peter Kaliaropoulos. Via this initiative, Batelco's broadband customers (including users of this new 'light' service) can choose one of three package types: credit limit (the default setting), threshold or open. With the first credit limit option, a predefined BD credit limit is agreed (in addition to the standard monthly fee), charged at 10fils per megabyte used. Users can surf at normal speed until their bill reaches this limit, then their download speed drops to 64kbps and they receive free usage at this slower speed until the end of the month. With the threshold option, once a user’s 2Gbyte data threshold has been reached their connection speed drops to 64kbps for the remainder of the month. The third ‘open’ option lets users who have reached the threshold continue using the internet at the same 256Kbps speed, but with extra usage is charged at 10fils per megabyte used. The launch of today's 'light user' package follows Batelco's submittal last week of an even cheaper monthly service (for more info click here), which is now awaiting TRA approval (expected within 45 days). This version would feature a slower connection speed than the service launched today, of 128Kbytes, but would also cost consumers even less each month (just BD5, or US $13). Batelco has to date committed BD21 million towards its ‘Broadband Bahrain’ initiative, with the aim of ensuring fast and affordable internet access for all its customers.

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