TRA removes wholesale ex-ante regulation from terminating messaging services

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The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has published its final determination in relation to its review of competition in the wholesale Mobile Termination Markets in Bahrain.

In its final decision, TRA concludes that messaging termination services on individual Mobile Networks Operators (MNOs) should no longer be susceptible to ex-ante regulation, while the wholesale market for call termination services still remains susceptible to ex-ante regulation by TRA.

These determinations have been taken based on the recent developments and changes in the market. The number of messages sent by residential customers has significantly declined due to the existence of other alternatives such as Internet applications with a high penetration rate of mobile Internet services that enable residential customers to use such applications.

Moreover, the prices of messaging termination services on individual mobile networks in Bahrain are much lower than those in the developed countries.

 “TRA continuously reviews the telecommunications markets, studies their developments and determines the need for ex-ante regulation and procedures to maintain competition and the interests of subscribers. With regard to the deregulation of messaging termination services, this determination will allow licensees in Bahrain to flexibly compete with foreign companies in providing SMS services specifically to business customers, thereby thriving their revenues for the benefit of the national economy. This determination could also reduce the volume of random and anonymous text messages.” Said TRA Director of Market and Competition Mohamed Yusuf AlBinali.

“TRA will closely monitor market developments resulted from deregulating wholesale messaging termination rates on the relevant wholesale and retail markets and it will take necessary actions to ensure that competition and the interests of end users are protected.” Mohamed AlBinali added.

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