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 Friday, March 12, 2010

­Bahrain's telecoms regulator, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has decided that it is time to start regulating the mobile termination rates of both the country's mobile networks. Although Batelco's rates are currently regulated, the rates applied by rival operator, Zain had been untouched.

The TRA said that it considers that it is now time to address this differential treatment between Batelco and Zain, given the significant growth of Zain since its entry 6 years ago, and at a time when the third mobile operator is expected to launch soon. This will provide additional certainty to existing licensed operators as well as the third mobile operator with regards to mobile termination rates.Dr. Mohammed Al Amer TRA's Chairman and Acting General Director said "This determination is not only important to operators who terminate communications on the mobile networks but also to consumers of one network trying to communicate with consumers on other mobile networks. In fact, termination rates are ultimately recovered through retail prices charged to consumers. Regulating termination rates are consistent with TRA's mission to protect the interest of consumers and to promote competition."

Dr. Mohammed went on to say "Regulators have the duty to step in when the normal operation of market forces is deficient. Termination on mobile networks is one such example of market failure. Termination constitutes a bottleneck on which there is structurally limited room for competitive pressures. If left unregulated, mobile termination rates would be set above the competitive level which will be detrimental to consumers. The Determination launched recently will pave the way for equal treatment between Batelco and Zain, and provides clear direction for the third mobile operator."

The Determination on Mobile Termination can be viewed on TRA's website www.tra.org.bh

Source: Cellular News