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Bahrain to unbundle fixed lines

Move likely to boost competition in Bahrain’s telecom sector.

Bahrain’s telecoms regulator has announced plans to allow competing telcos to access the fixed lines of incumbent operator Batelco.

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) of Bahrain issued an invitation to consultancy firms to submit their proposals for the completion of the local loop unbundling (LLU).

TRA’s general director Alan Horne said: “This move is an essential enabler of further competition at the retail level, especially for the provision of high speed broadband.

“When implemented, it is expected to result in raising the internet access speed without necessarily raising prices, as well as increasing product innovation and differentiation.”

The Telecommunications Law obliges Batelco to provide other licensed operators with access to its local exchanges. According to the TRA, this latest move is aimed at supporting a choice of competitive services over Batelco’s access network.

TRA’s manager for market and competition Adel Darwish said: “The consultancy firm will closely work with the TRA and Batelco to host a series of workshops for the industry, to ensure understanding of the LLU services.”

The deadline for the submission of proposals is 16 September.