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Mon 14 May 2012 06:38 PM

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Bahrain regulator orders cuts to telecom charges

TRA issues order setting new charges in bid to improve competition, lower prices

Bahrain regulator orders cuts to telecom charges
Bahrains telecom regulator is seeking to reduce charges imposed by Batelco to its rivals.

Bahrain's Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) issued an order on Monday setting new charges in a bid to improve competition and lower prices to consumers.

The regulator said in a statement that the draft order sets "fair and reasonable charges" for access and interconnection services offered by Batelco to its rivals in the Gulf kingdom.

In December, the TRA said that following the review of Batelco's reference offer submission, it was not satisfied that the proposed charges were in line with the Telecommunications Law.

The order issued on Monday demands that charges for bitstream and wholesale DSL will decrease by between 2-26 percent.

"This decrease will support the provision of cheaper and faster broadband offers in the retail market," the statement said.

Interconnection links charges will fall by between 30-50 percent while charges for domestic leased lines are set to decline by up to 46 percent.

Charges for international leased half circuits to GCC countries will drop by between 28-68 percent, the TRA added, while for Southeast/East Asia, Europe and the USA, the charges will decrease by between 41-45 percent.

Batelco, the first telco to launch in Bahrain, is now in competition with Zain and Viva.

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