Design, implementation and management of the spectrum award process in the Kingdom of Bahrain

Project executed on behalf of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) of Bahrain

Project Objective

Axon supported the national authority (TRA) in the assignment of the 800 and 2600 MHz bands in the Kingdom of Bahrain to mobile operators during 2019. This was a move promoted by the TRA in line with the 4th National Telecommunications Plan to make sure that mobile operators can cater for the increasing demand for data services in the Kingdom. 

Project Description

Axon’s support to the Authority included:

  • Assessment of the policy, regulatory and licensing documents and provision of recommendations for the legal framework, spectrum regulations, radio frequency migration regulations & plans, IMT roadmap, terrestrial broadcasting frequency plan, ministerial policies and policy directions.
  • Evaluation of the award & licensing conditions of the bands included in the award, focusing on lot sizes, spectrum caps, license duration, annual fees, technical specs, etc.
  • Drafting of consultations with the industry to attain a consensual way forward with the assignments of the new bands, evaluation of responses and provision of final recommendations.

Key Takeaways

The award process was highly successful as the TRA managed to award all the available spectrum at a price that reflected its fair value and according to the internal techno-economical needs of the MNOs. Additionally, the post-award distribution of spectrum across the three MNOs was very similar (see below), thus contributing to effective competition in the mobile market.

Figure 1: Distribution of spectrum across the three MNOs