The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) was announced winning “Regulatory Initiative of the Year” in MENA region at CommsMEA’s annual Awards ceremony in Dubai. The awards focus on a number of categories encompassing the ICT sector, highlighting the most prominent achievements of the Industry throughout the region.
“ The significance of the separation project can’t be overstated.” Says Shaikh Nasser Bin Mohamed Al Khalifa, Acting General Director of TRA. “It is one of the most monumental undertakings the TRA has led since inception, the impact of which will be felt by all parties for generations to come.”, He added.
The Separation Project, in simple terms, is where Batelco has been split into two separate entities which are independent of each other. The newly formed “B NET” is a wholesale organization managing Bahrain’s Broadband infrastructure, and Batelco is one of the existing operators in the Kingdom which lease this infrastructure. This leads to the establishment of a new economic regulatory framework in line with Government’s policy directions under the fourth National Telecommunications Plan. “We now have a more even playing field in terms of competition among operators.” Says Shaikh Nasser Bin Mohamed, adding “Consumers & businesses will reap the rewards of this new framework, expecting operators to compete based on enhanced services. Broadband quality won’t be an issue factoring into your choice as unprecedented speeds are made into a gold standard across the local telecom sector. We’re confident that its work will contribute to the Kingdom of Bahrain becoming the strategic investment destination of choice and a regional Centre for information technology and digital communications.”
No country in the Middle East North Africa region has accomplished this yet, with only seven countries achieving this worldwide. Even so, none have successfully accomplished this task in the two years it took the Kingdom of Bahrain to see it through. Accepting the award, Shaikh Nasser concluded that “This is an affirmation of all the hard work the TRA has done in service to the Kingdom and the people. This is proof that few can achieve much, and when Bahrain sets its mind towards excellence, the world takes notice. This isn’t just a win for the TRA, it’s a win for consumers, for investors and for government,”.