Bahrain offers best mobile, broadband services

The mobile operators are putting in a lot of effort to provide consumers with state-of-the-art mobile technology and to satisfy their increasing demand for higher speed and bandwidth over the popular smart-phones and mobile tablets, according to a senior official at the TRA.

“We are satisfied that today consumers are enjoying a wide range of mobile services with good levels of coverage and quality,” Mohamed Bubashait, TRA Bahrain, said.

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) of the Kingdom of Bahrain released three reports related to Mobile Quality of Service, Fixed Broadband performance and Internet Ecosystem Evolution.

Measurements performed during November and December 2011 show that the three mobile operators, Batelco, Viva and Zain, have maintained or increased mobile service performances compared to the previous year and the combined industry results are benchmarked with the best mobile operators’ performances in other markets in Europe and the Middle East.

The audit’s key highlight is the unprecedented increase in industry average data download speeds, for example over smart phones reaching 3,065 Kbps compared to 1,070 Kbps just a year ago. This dramatic performance increase was made possible due to network upgrades with the latest HSPA technology, which is now available at percentages ranging from 80% to 96% across all networks.

The fixed broadband analysis report of Quarter 2, 2012, shows improvements in several aspects of broadband services’ performance. The observed TCP download speed average across the industry increased from 1.50 Mbps to 1.58 Mbps, close to 80% of the advertised speed by the ISPs for a 2 Mbps residential service. The TCP upload speed increased significantly for ADS- based services, resulting in the industry’s TCP upload average reaching 0.69 Mbps from 0.58 Mbps observed over the previous quarter.

The report covers performance analysis of 2 Mbps residential packages delivered over different technologies (ADSL, Fiber and WiMax) from the following ISPs: 2Connect, Batelco, Etisalcom, Kalaam, Lightspeed, Menatelecom, NueTel, and Zain.

“The result of this study reaffirms Bahrain’s position as a leading telecommunications centre in the region. The competitiveness of the internet transit connecting Bahrain will directly support the efficiency of all internet service providers in providing competitive internet services to end users,” Bubashait, said.

The study performed by Renesys provides an overview of the Ecosystem’s evolution for the first 6 months of the year, and indicates that Internet Service Providers are dynamically using an increasing number of options to reach the global Internet and optimise international transit arrangements, giving rise to a healthy internet transit market and the emergence of new alternatives.

Bahrain has strong route diversity, based on the latest submarine cable system technologies, and alternate terrestrial routes, that provide robust and high quality links to the largest internet transit providers in the world, reducing the risk of a single cable incident significantly affecting Internet services in the Kingdom.

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