The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of the Kingdom of Bahrain (TRA) has released its latest telecoms markets indicators report. This report contains a wealth of statistics on the telecoms sector in Bahrain. The information included in this report is based on data provided by operators and historical data held by TRA.
Commenting on the Report, TRA General Director Mohammed Bubashait expressed that "The indicators show that the regulatory work in the telecom sector is supporting the government objectives in promoting the online services through the telecom services enablers as well as attracting the international investment by offering high quality and attractive telecom services."
Mr. Mohammed A-Binali, TRA’s Market and Competition Director said "According to the latest market indicators released by the TRA, the telecoms sector in Bahrain continues to expand, as an increasingly competitive marketplace offers affordable, innovative, and high-quality services to end users. Mobile and broadband penetration rates in Bahrain continue to increase, and we have started to see fixed wired broadband subscriptions increase for the first time in a number of years, following TRA’s decision to deregulate the residential/SME broadband market and provide greater flexibility at the retail level. We are delighted to see competitive outcomes being delivered in the telecom sector."
The main highlights of the report include:
- At the end of Q3 2014, there were about 2.41 million mobile subscriptions in Bahrain, representing a mobile penetration rate of 183%. The number of mobile subscriptions has increased by 54% since the launch of the third mobile operator. Although the mobile market in Bahrain remains predominantly prepaid (with prepaid services representing 79% of total mobile subscriptions), the number of postpaid subscriptions increased by 80% between 2010 and Q3 2014 and this is mainly due to attractive postpaid offers and handset subsidies offers (in particular with the emergence of smartphones).
- The number of active mobile broadband subscriptions added to voice (pay per use, add-on and bundles) has reached 1.43 million by the end of Q3 2014, representing 60% of mobile subscriptions and a penetration rate of 109%. The domestic mobile originated traffic grew by 8% between 2012 and 2013 and 68% between 2010 and 2013. The average monthly spend per prepaid subscriber is about BD4.6 in 2013 compared to BD5.8 in 2010 and BD19.8 for postpaid subscribers in 2013 compared to BD28.4 in 2010.
- Since the introduction of number portability in July 2011, the volume of mobile numbers successfully ported has gradually increased. By the end of June 2014, a total of approximately 106,000 mobile numbers had been ported successfully.
- At the end of Q3 2014, there were approximately 1.84 million broadband subscriptions, representing a broadband penetration rate of 140%. Mobile broadband subscriptions continue to grow and represented 91% of the total broadband subscriptions base in Q3 2014. Fixed wired broadband (e.g. ADSL and fibre) subscriptions have started to increase after a long decline, and this is a result of the more attractive retail offers introduced following the deregulation of the residential broadband market. The proportion of broadband subscribers on plans with advertised speeds of 2Mbps and more (including standalone mobile broadband subscribers) increased to 81% in 2013 compared to 72% in 2012 and 32% in 2010.
- Despite the high penetration of mobile broadband subscriptions added to voice (pay per use, add-on and bundles) and the increase in the Over The Top services (e.g. Skype and Tango), the volume of international outgoing calls continues to increase. During 2013 international outgoing calls reached 3.15 billion minutes, an increase of 21% over 2012. During 2013, 88% of total international minutes were made to South Asian countries, while only 61% of international revenues were generated from calls to South Asian countries.