By Neil Denslow
Bahrain has the most mature telecommunications market in the Middle East, according to figures from IDC.
Bahrain has the most mature telecommunications market in the Middle East, according to figures from IDC. It generated 24% of its revenue in 2001 from data services, by contrast, Saudi Arabia trailed in the listings with only 2%.The comparative analysis was based on a matrix designed by IDC, which compares the proportion of telecoms revenue generated from managed data network services (MDNS) and leased lines. It also considers the level of development of each country’s overall telecoms market."Bahrain's incumbent monopoly, Batelco, has managed to propel the growth of data communications services through the introduction of advanced MDNS such as global frame relay and ATM services," explains Mohsen Malaki, senior analyst at IDC's Telecommunications Group. Global MDNS forms a major part of Bahrain's datacoms revenue, due to the high level of multinational investment in the country. "The partnership with Cable & Wireless has certainly helped in the rollout of these global managed data services," Malaki notes.Saudi Arabia was poorly rated by the matrix mainly because advanced MDNS services have yet to be rolled out there. As such, even though Bahrain's overall telecoms market is only a tenth the size of the Saudi market, their revenue from MDNS and leased line last year was nearly the same at US$107 million.