Tuesday 21 September 2021
 
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AFFORDABLE ICT SERVICES

Bahrain achieves highest ranking of generations: ITU

MANAMA, July 14, 2021

Bahrain has escalated up the regulatory ladder to the highest generation of ICT regulation, fostering affordability in ICT services, according to a new report issued by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

According to ITU’s 2020 ICT Pricing Trends Report of Measuring Digital Development, Bahrain has elevated from Third to Fourth generation. The report verifies the variety of influences impacting the pricing levels for ICT services in a region; however, one governing influence on overall affordability is the resilience of a regulatory environment.

As found by the ITU study, Bahrain amongst Arab countries, is ranked 2nd for pricings in regard to mobile broadband services, as it maintains affordable fixed broadband rates yet a large - scale data capacity.

In addition, Bahrain’s mobile broadband prices account for 1.51% of gross national income per capita (GNI p.c.), whereas fixed broadband prices account for 1.82% of GNI p.c, which is below the UN affordability target, therefore allowing Bahrain to meet and outperform the Sustainable Development Goal target before 2025, holding prices below two percent of GNI per capita.

Sheikh Nasser Bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, Acting General Director of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) of Bahrain has congratulated and tributed the Kingdom’s evolution in regulatory framework to HM King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa, and to HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and Prime Minister.

According to Sheikh Nasser, this achievement validates the Kingdom’s advancements in both the field of telecoms, and excellence of enabling environment of digital transformation, valuing the wise leadership's guidance in expanding Bahrain and shaping it into a regional telecom and ICT hub, seeking to continue efforts to develop the telecommunications sector in the Kingdom of Bahrain.

 “The regulatory environment's resilience is a significant facilitator of both ICT adoption and price reduction. Regulators in this sector play a significant role in safeguarding consumers’ benefits through regulating competitiveness between operators,” said Sheikh Nasser.

“Regulators also impact market structure and competitiveness through awarding licenses, allocating and designating spectrum, facilitating interoperability and infrastructure exchange, and regulating investment, among other things. A country ascends the regulatory ladder to a higher generation of ICT regulation as its regulatory environment matures.

“The pandemic of Covid-19 has demonstrated the critical necessity of connectivity. This position will only expand in the following years as the globe continues to cope with impacts of the pandemic and embraces the ‘new reality’. However, continued monitoring of the growth of ICT pricing is crucial for quality management to tackle affordability gaps,” he added. – TradeArabia News Service




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