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Bahrain set to offer third telecom contract

Batelco and Zain to get new rival for country's telecom customers early next year.

Bahrain's third mobile telephone operator will be in place by early next year, it has been announced.

International consultant Telecommunications Management Group (TMG) is due to complete a study on the project in October, Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) chairman Mohammed Al Amer said.

The US-based consultancy firm will define the criteria and design a competitive process for the award of the third operator licence in Bahrain, Gulf Daily News reported on Wednesday.

The invitation to tender for the contract is expected to happen in October with the winner announced early next year.

Batelco and Zain are the current mobile network operators in Bahrain and between them saw a 23 per cent growth in mobile subscribers between 2006 and 2007.

The number of mobile subscribers in Bahrain reached 1,115,000 by the end of 2007.