By Shane McGinley
A cap on GCC rates means some operators’ fees will drop by up to 75%
Bahrain’s telecoms operator has introduced a cap on rates operators can charge for voice calls when customers are roaming outside the kingdom, forcing some operators to slash fees by up to 75 percent.
Following a decision by the Ministerial Committee of the GCC Council, operators may only charge Bahraini customers a maximum of 249 fils per minute for international calls and 104 fils per minute for local internal calls while roaming in other GCC countries outside Bahrain.
“Currently Bahraini consumers pay as much as 1 Bahraini Dinar per minute for calls made back to Bahrain while roaming in some GCC countries, meaning that this decision will achieve a reduction in call costs of up to 75 percent, depending on the current prices of different countries and operators,” the statement from Bahrain’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) said.
"TRA is working closely with mobile telecommunications companies to ensure smooth implementation of this decision and is coordinating with other GCC regulators to ensure that this decision is in line with the GCC Council's objectives and directions," said the TRA's Market and Competition Manager, Adel Darwish.
The new rates come into affect this month and will apply to all mobile subscribers of Batelco, Zain-Bahrain and Viva-Bahrain.