Rahul Sharma

Telecommunications in Bahrain

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Telecommunications in Bahrain officially began in 1981 when the Bahraini government founded the Bahrain Telecommunications Company. Since then, other companies such as Zain and VIVA have entered the telecommunications sector.



When Batelco was first founded in 1981, Bahrain already had 45,627 telephone lines in use. By 1982, the number reached 50,000. In 1985, the country's first fibre optic cable was installed. Batelco enjoyed being a monopoly in the telecommunications sector for the next two decades. By 1999, the company had around 100,000 mobile contracts.

In 2002, under pressure from international bodies, Bahrain implemented its telecommunications law which included the establishment of an independent Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA). In 2003, Batelco's monopoly over the sector broke when the TRA awarded a license to MTC Vodafone, which later re-branded itself as Zain. In January 2010, VIVA (a subsidiary of STC) started operations in Bahrain.

Telephonic services

Telephones - main lines in use: 194,200 (2006)
county comparison to the world: 124

Telephones - mobile cellular: 1,116,000 (2007)

county comparison to the world: 132

Telephone system:

  • general assessment: modern system
  • domestic: modern fiber-optic integrated services; digital network with rapidly growing use of mobile cellular telephones
  • international: country code - 973; landing point for the Fire-Optic Link Around the Globe (FLAG) submarine cable network that provides links to Asia, Middle East, Europe, and US; tropospheric scatter to Qatar and UAE; microwave radio relay to Saudi Arabia; satellite earth station - 1 (2007)
  • Broadcast radio

    Radio broadcast stations: AM 2, FM 3, shortwave 0 (1998)

    Broadcast television

    Television broadcast stations: 4 (1997)

    Internet service

    Internet country code: .bh

    Internet hosts: 2,621 (2008)

    country comparison to the world: 135

    Internet users: 250,000 (2007)

    country comparison to the world: 124


    Telecommunications in Bahrain Wikipedia

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