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99pc Bahrain residents using Internet, says new survey

MANAMA, October 11, 2019

Around 99 per cent of the population is connected to the Internet, according to a recent survey conducted by the Bahrain Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), in a clear indication of the increasing affordability of Internet services in the kingdom.

The kingdom leads the global ranking of the percentage of Internet users, according to data released by the International Telecommunication Union.

The results of the survey show that Internet applications represent most internet activities such as social media applications. For instance, 99% of respondents said they use WhatsApp and YouTube, 95% use Instagram and Facebook and 90% use Snapchat, stated the TRA in its latest Telecommunications Services Residential Market Survey report.

The survey included a sample of 1548 individuals in the age group of 15 years and above, who were surveyed on the availability and use of various telecommunication services as well as their satisfaction with telecommunication and online services.

With regard to mobile telephony services, almost all respondents have a mobile phone service. However, the survey shows that the percentage of users having two or more mobile SIM cards is in decline, reaching 16% in 2018 compared to 38% in 2017, it stated.

This reflects the developments in mobile telephony packages such as the introduction of new and comprehensive packages as well as the significantly increasing use of mobile data, said the survey by TRA.

Since its establishment in 2002, the TRA has been working with government, consumers, operators and investors to develop the country into the region’s most modern communications hub and to facilitate the growth of the market.

The survey also indicates that the main reason put forward by respondents for having more than one SIM card was to have separate SIMs for business and personal use.

As for the fixed line service, the results of the survey showed that 16% of the households surveyed have a fixed telephone line due to the high dependence on mobile phone services.

Regarding telecommunications services users’ satisfaction, the survey results showed that 85% of respondents expressed their satisfaction with telecommunications services in Bahrain. Moreover, users' proposals were focused on lowering prices and increasing the quality of services, said the TRA survey.

"The results of this survey show significant developments in the nature by which telecommunications services are used and required by users," remarked Acting General Director Sheikh Nasser bin Mohammed Al Khalifa.

"The high number of Internet users in Bahrain and the volume of internet usage that require high speeds and large amounts of data, in addition to the desire of users to obtain services at lower prices and better quality, all illustrate the importance of the deployment of the National Broadband Network using fiber-optic cables, which was achieved through the Batelco’s separation process," stated Sheikh Nasser.

The network will enable the provision of high-speed broadband services to individual and business users, he added.-TradeArabia News Service




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