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Sun 6 Apr 2008 01:28 PM

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Bahrain to issue third mobile licence

Potential mobile operators invited to express opinions over licensing process for Bahrain's third mobile licence

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) of Bahrain last week invited companies to express interest and opinions about the auction of the third mobile network operator (MNO) licence.

Factors considered crucial to the issuance include the preferred band and amount of spectrum assigned, as well as infrastructure sharing, national roaming and an exclusivity period.

The regulator said it hopes to auction off the licence by the year-end, with a target date set for 4th December, 2008. The deadline for interest and opinions is 4th May, 2008.

"TRA is charged with ensuring the telecommunications regulations not only enable consumers to have a real choice in service providers, but that prices and quality meet international best practice," said Alan Horne, general director of the TRA.

"A third mobile operator will, we believe, considerably assist us to meet his objective and further support the growth in the economy and market in Bahrain," he added.

Karl van Heeswijk, TRA's spectrum advisor, added: "We strongly encourage all interested potential mobile operators to provide their feedback to us on the aspects of the award process. The aim of TRA is to design and schedule a simple and transparent award process."

The third licence is one of nine proposals set out in the draft decision issued by the TRA. It comes at the end of the consultation period on the strategic and retail market review, which ended on 31st March, 2008.

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