As part of the collaboration with the GCC countries, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) Bahrain has announced that citizens across the six nations will enjoy further price reductions on roaming rates as of 1 April, 2017. This marks the second year of price reductions, and will continue with further reductions every year, until 2020.
“91 million mobile users in the GCC will be able to take advantage of the new price caps and due credit goes to the effort, vision and collaboration of the GCC countries through the GCC Council’s collaborative work and our counterparts in the regulatory field," said Sheikh Nasser Bin Mohamed Al Khalifa, deputy general director of TRA BAH .
He added: “The prices consumers used to pay for roaming services tended to be relatively high and this roaming regulation is key to realising a solution. Through the success of this initiative, GCC citizens can now enjoy more welfare. This will continue to improve in the years to come as we establish a mature and more competitive telecoms environment.”
The Roaming Regulation began with the GCC Ministerial Committee’s first decision in 2010, when the need arose to address the high costs of roaming that consumers were exposed to. This led to the formation of the Roaming Working Group, represented by regulators from each Gulf country.
In 2016 the cost of international calls made from within the GCC costed 241 fils per minute while in 2017 this was reduced to 233 fils. National calls made within the GCC used to cost 98 fils per minute which went down to 94 fils. SMS messages used to cost 30 fils last year compared to 26 fils per message in 2017. Finally data roaming rates in 2016 used to cost 489 fils per megabyte which was reduced to 320 fils.