Bahrain - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses
Telecommunications revenues rising in the Kingdom of Bahrain
There are many positive developments occurring in the liberalised telecoms market of Bahrain. Telecommunications industry revenues are rising, mobile penetration is very high and mobile data is growing faster than voice. There are now over 2.6 million mobile subscriptions in the Kingdom and penetration sits at around 180%.
Consumers are reaping the benefit of competition which has led to a decline in prices for services. Roaming costs have also dropped and will continue to do so for the next few years. The unlicensed mobile sector, led by handset devices has resulted in a revenue growth.
With mobile subscribers accounting for the majority of broadband subscriptions in Bahrain, the operators are focusing heavily on improving mobile infrastructure. LTE networks are well established, and the operators are now looking towards new services like VoLTE, LTE-A, M2M and the potential of 5G in the future.
Bahrain's Fourth National Telecommunications Plan was prepared by the end of 2015 and given approval by the Ministry in May 2016. It will focus on fibre-optic infrastructure and affordable prices for high-speed access. It also includes 5G development and readiness. In 2018 progress continues on the build-out of Bahrain's NBN, which is being overseen by the TRA.
Infrastructure-based competition has been essential to growth; ADSL was once the dominant means of broadband access prior to widespread adoption of mobile broadband.
In 2018 VIVA Bahrain acquired ISP, MENA Telecom.
In mid 2017 biometric SIM registration was introduced in Bahrain and a decline in mobile subscribers followed.
In 2017 the first successful trial of 5G was conducted in Bahrain.
Consumers in Bahrain and other Gulf countries are beginning to enjoy price reductions on roaming rates.