Bahrain's TRA calls for sweeping price cuts

Regulator asks Batelco to slash prices of wholesale DSL and bitstream access
Mohamed Bubashait said the price recommendations are intended to boost competition.
Mohamed Bubashait said the price recommendations are intended to boost competition.


Bahrain’s TRA has issued a draft order that proposes major price reductions to Batelco’s wholesale prices.

The TRA wants the incumbent operator to cut its bitstream prices by 2% and slash its wholesale DSL charges by 26%, compared to current charges.

The regulator suggested that Batelco should cut interconnection links charges by between 50% and 70% compared to current charges, and reduce interconnection services charges by about 25%.

The regulator said that the aim of the proposals in the draft order is “to support the provision of cheaper and faster broadband offers in the retail market”.

The draft order is open for public consultation, which closes on December 28.

Mohamed Bubashait, general director, TRA Bahrain, said: “A sensible wholesale offer to other licenced operators [OLOs] is a key regulatory instrument supporting competition and choice in the telecommunications sector.

“The charges set in this draft order are evidence-based, fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory and allow Batelco to earn a fair and reasonable return on its investment.”

The TRA submitted the draft order after it received suggested price reductions from Batelco, which were deemed inadequate by the regulator.

“Following the review of Batelco’s Reference Offer submission, TRA was not satisfied that the proposed charges were in line with the Telecommunications Law,” the TRA said.

The public version of the draft order can be viewed on TRA’s website.

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