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Regulator fines Viva Bahrain for spectrum breach

Breach stems from unauthorised upgrade of 65 microwave links, TRA says

Operators, Regulations, Telecoms, Licensing, Telecommunications Regulatory Authority - Bahrain

Bahrain's telecoms regulator, the TRA, has fined Viva Bahrain, for a "severe and continuing" breach of its spectrum licence agreement.

The breach stems from Viva Bahrain's unauthorised upgrade of 165 fixed point-to-point microwave links, which has exceeded the bandwidth limitations set out in the Frequency Licence, the TRA said.

"A fine has been imposed by TRA for the breach, which includes a penalty for the period of unauthorised use of spectrum," the TRA said in a statement.

"In addition Viva has been ordered to pay the outstanding spectrum licence fees due in respect of the upgraded links. TRA has ordered Viva to downgrade all unauthorised links, within 90 days from the date of the order."

The regulator issued an order against the telco under Article 35 of the Telecommunications Law, for non-compliance with "various conditions" contained in its Frequency Licence, its Individual Mobile Telecommunications Licence and its National Fixed Services Licence.

Viva Bahrain is owned by Saudi Arabia's STC Group and competes with its bigger rivals, Batelco, and Zain.