Bahrain - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Executive summary

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.

Key developments:

  • 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.

Companies covered in this report include:

Batelco, MenaTelecom, Kalaam Telecom, 2Connect, Noorsat, Zain Bahrain, Viva Bahrain.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Executive summary
  • 2. Key statistics
    • 2.1 Country overview
  • 3. Telecommunications market
    • 3.1 Historical overview
    • 3.2 Telecommunications market
      • 3.2.1 Market analysis
    • 3.3 Recent developments
  • 4. Regulatory environment
    • 4.1 Regulatory authority
    • 4.2 Overview
    • 4.3 Telecom sector liberalisation in Bahrain
      • 4.3.1 First National Telecommunications Plan
      • 4.3.2 Second National Telecommunications Plan and planned measures
      • 4.3.3 Third National Telecommunications Plan
      • 4.3.4 Fourth National Telecommunications Plan
      • 4.3.5 Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) licences
    • 4.4 Interconnect
    • 4.5 Access
    • 4.6 Number portability
    • 4.7 Privatisation
  • 5. Fixed network operators in Bahrain
    • 5.1 Overview
    • 5.2 Bahrain telecommunications company (Batelco)
      • 5.2.1 Historical overview
      • 5.2.2 Recent developments
    • 5.3 Alternative operators
      • 5.3.1 MenaTelecom (acquired by VIVA)
      • 5.3.2 Kalaam Telecom
      • 5.3.3 2Connect (revoked)
  • 6. Telecommunications infrastructure
    • 6.1 National telecom network
    • 6.2 International infrastructure
      • 6.2.1 Submarine cable networks
      • 6.2.2 Satellite networks
      • 6.2.3 Noorsat
  • 7. Smart infrastructure
    • 7.1 M2M/IoT/Big Data
    • 7.2 Smart energy
  • 8. Wholesaling
    • 8.1 Overview
  • 9. Broadband access market
    • 9.1 Market analysis
    • 9.2 Broadband statistics
    • 9.3 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP) and Fibre-To-The-Home (FttH)
      • 9.3.1 Historical overview
      • 9.3.2 Key developments
      • 9.3.3 National Broadband Network (NBN)
    • 9.4 Other fixed broadband services
      • 9.4.1 Fixed wireless (WiFi and WiMAX)
      • 9.4.2 iBurst
  • 10. Digital economy
    • 10.1 Introduction
    • 10.2 e-Commerce
      • 10.2.1 Sharing economy
    • 10.3 e-Banking
    • 10.4 e-Government
    • 10.5 e-Health
    • 10.6 e-Education
  • 11. Digital media
    • 11.1 Videostreaming
      • 11.1.1 Introduction
      • 11.1.2 Video-based services
      • 11.1.3 Broadband TV (IPTV)
    • 11.2 VoIP
    • 11.3 Music
    • 11.4 On line gaming and gambling
  • 12. Mobile communications
    • 12.1 Market analysis
    • 12.2 Mobile statistics
      • 12.2.1 General statistics
    • 12.3 Mobile voice
      • 12.3.1 Prepaid
      • 12.3.2 Mobile data
    • 12.4 Mobile broadband statistics
    • 12.5 Regulatory issues
      • 12.5.1 Second mobile licence
      • 12.5.2 Third mobile licence
      • 12.5.3 Prepaid subscriber registration
      • 12.5.4 Roaming tariff reduction
      • 12.5.5 MNP
    • 12.6 Mobile infrastructure
      • 12.6.1 Brief intro analogue networks
      • 12.6.2 Digital networks
      • 12.6.3 5G
    • 12.7 Major mobile operators
      • 12.7.1 Batelco
      • 12.7.2 Zain Bahrain
      • 12.7.3 Viva Bahrain / STC Bahrain
    • 12.8 Mobile content and applications
      • 12.8.1 Carrier billing
      • 12.8.2 M-banking
    • 12.9 Mobile handsets
  • 13. Related reports
  • Table 1 – Country statistics – 2018
  • Table 2 – Telecom revenue statistic – 2016
  • Table 3 – Telephone network statistics – 2018
  • Table 4 – Broadband statistics – 2017
  • Table 5 – Mobile statistics – Q3 2017
  • Table 6 – National telecommunications authorities
  • Table 7 – Bahrain - GDP and inflation – 2012 - 2018
  • Table 8 – Telecom sector revenue – 2006 - 2016
  • Table 9 – Telecom sector revenue breakdown – 2013 - 2016
  • Table 10 – Batelco revenue and profit – 2005 – 9M 2017
  • Table 11 – Historical - Batelco revenue by division - 2005 – 2015
  • Table 12 – Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1995 – 2004
  • Table 13 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2005 – 2018
  • Table 14 – Historical - ARPU for National calls – 2010 - 2014
  • Table 15 – Internet users and penetration estimates - 2011 - 2018
  • Table 16 – Fixed and mobile broadband subscribers – Q3 2016 – Q3 2017
  • Table 17 – Broadband sector revenue – 2010 - 2014
  • Table 18 – Fixed broadband – market share of technologies - 2016
  • Table 19 – Bahrain – IPTV subscribers – Q1 2013; Q1 2014; Q1 2015
  • Table 20 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 1995 - 2004
  • Table 21 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 2005 – Q3 2017
  • Table 22 – Retail mobile market revenue – 2012 - 2016
  • Table 23 – Mobile ARPS – 2012 - 2016
  • Table 24 – Bahrain total prepaid mobile subscribers - 1999 – Q3 2017
  • Table 25 – Historical - Zain Bahrain prepaid subscribers - 2004 - 2015
  • Table 26 – Historical - SMS message sent – 2008 - 2013
  • Table 27 – Mobile broadband subscribers and penetration – 2012 – Q3 2017
  • Table 28 – Accepted cumulative mobile number portability requests – 2011 – Q3 2016
  • Table 29 – Batelco total group mobile subscribers – 2005 – Q3 2017
  • Table 30 – Zain Bahrain – revenue, EBITDA, CAPEX and ARPU - 2005 – 9M 2017
  • Exhibit 1 – Bahrain – National fixed voice services operators

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Paul owns and manages the world's largest online Telecommunications Consultancy and is very active on the international telecommunication scene. A very hard worker who is extremely well informed and well connected with all tiers of the ICT industry. He is the force behind the NBN project implementation and a catalyst for the progress of the Digital Economy between the Industry and the powers that be, in the government

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