Bahrain's third mobile network launched commercial services yesterday as Saudi Telecom Company (STC) subsidiary Viva Bahrain opened its doors to customers. Trade Arabia News Service reports that Viva’s services are available across Bahrain, and include mobile broadband access at speeds of up to 21Mbps, packaged with unlimited downloads, whilst up to five people can enjoy wireless broadband at peak speeds of 7.2Mbps via a single router. For the next three months, Viva is offering free calls and SMS within its Bahraini network and free calls to STC numbers in Saudi Arabia. It is also offering up to 90% discounts on calls made to 18 popular international destinations. Viva’s post-paid handset bundles come with up to 200MB of inclusive data usage per month, whilst its 3G-enabled pre-paid SIM cards are available for BHD2 (USD5.3), with an additional offer of 24% more credit each time the SIM is recharged, the company announced.
STC has invested USD200 million in Bahrain to date and expects to spend ‘several hundred million’ dollars in the next few years. Viva Bahrain CEO Abdulrahman Al Omar commented on the launch: ‘We plan to compete in the Bahraini market by providing innovative services that meet the needs of the market and enrich the level of services, whether voice or data transmission or even high speed broadband.’