TRA Bahrain has appointed consultancy firm Frontier Economics to design and manage the competitive process for the licensing of 4G mobile services in Bahrain.
Dr. Mohammed Al Amer, chairman, TRA Bahrain, said that the regulator had hired a consultancy in order to design a transparent, competitive and technology-neutral award process for licencing 4G mobile services.
“As of now we are open to all the licencing options, in terms of the number of licences to be awarded and the type of company or companies to be selected. All the options are subject to extensive economical study to ensure a suitable awarding process. A decision on the mechanism of the licensing process is expected to be made later this year, following the finalization of the study by the consultancy firm," Al Amer said.
Mohamed Bubashait, general director, TRA Bahrain, added: “The main objectives of TRA in the design of a competitive award process are to foster the availability of high speed mobile broadband while ensuring healthy competition and investment in the mobile market.
“We know that the demand for mobile telecommunications services, especially mobile broadband, will continue to grow. TRA along with the main radio frequencies stakeholders already agreed to review frequency bands allocated for public mobile communications, with the view to develop a strategy based on future demand.”
The regulator has already confirmed that the 2.6 GHz frequency band is the “preferred evolutionary path” for 4G services for most mobile operators in the region and is expected to become available in Bahrain in two tranches. The first tranche will be two paired sub-bands of 40 MHz which will be awarded during the first quarter of 2013. A further 30 MHz of paired 2.6 GHz spectrum will become available by the end of 2014.