Bahrain plans 2.6 GHz spectrum by end 2014

Dr. Mohammed Al Amer, TRA’s Chairman
In the backdrop of the Kingdom’s plans to keep abreast with the latest telecom services, the TRA has appointed a company to design and manage a competitive process for the licensing of post 3G mobile services.

Bahrain’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) on Saturday announced the appointment of Frontier Economics, as the consultancy firm to design and manage a suitable competitive process for the licensing of post 3G mobile telecommunications services in the Kingdom of Bahrain.

The provisioning of post 3G mobile services will enhance the competitiveness of the telecommunications sector in the Kingdom of Bahrain and will support the achievement of the desired objectives set forth in the 3rd National Telecommunications Plan of supporting competition and creating new investment opportunities in the sector.

“By appointing Frontier Economics we are aimed at designing a transparent, competitive and technology-neutral award process for licensing post 3G mobile services. As of now we are open to all the licensing options, in terms of the number of licenses to be awarded and the type of companies to be selected. All the options are subject to extensive economical study to ensure a suitable awarding process. A decision on the mechanism of the licensing process is expected to be made later this year, following the finalization of the study by the consultancy firm,” Dr. Mohammed Al Amer, TRA’s Chairman, said.

“The main objectives of TRA in the design of a competitive award process are to foster the availability of high speed mobile broadband while ensuring healthy competition and investment in the mobile market,” Mohamed Bubashait, TRA’s General Director, said.

“We know that the demand for mobile telecommunications services, especially mobile broadband, will continue to grow. TRA along with the main radio frequencies stakeholders already agreed to review frequency bands allocated for public mobile communications, with the view to develop a strategy based on future demand,”

Mohamed Bubashait, TRA General Director
, added.

The 2.6 GHz frequency band is the preferred evolutionary path for the provisioning of post 3G mobile telecommunications services for most public mobile operators in the region and is expected to become available in the Kingdom in two tranches. The first tranche will be two paired sub-bands of 40 MHz which will be awarded during the first quarter of 2013. A further 30 MHz of paired 2.6 GHz spectrum will become available by the end of 2014.

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