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Bahrain to appoint consultant to take telecoms to 2030

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) of the Kingdom of Bahrain, in cooperation with the Minister responsible for her Telecommunications Sector, HE Sheik Ahmed bin Attiyatalla Al Khalifa, has issued an invitation to consultancy firms to submit proposals to assist the Minster and TRA in adopting the most appropriate policy for Telecommunications Universal Services & Access.

The Minister and TRA are aiming to ensure that residents and businesses of the Kingdom of Bahrain have access to affordable telecoms based on international best practices, with particular emphasis on the availability of competitive high-speed broadband services. This requirement directly supports the recently issued Economic Vision 2030 for Bahrain.

The 2030 Economic Vision guides the long-term socio-economic development of Bahrain, including the telecoms sector. It aims to ensure that telecoms services are readily accessible and competitively priced and thereby contribute to economic growth and providing a stable base for businesses.

Bahrain is known as a leader in telecoms competitiveness in the region. However, the government and TRA acknowledge the requirement to ensure the sustainability of the sector, and the availability of internationally competitive telecommunications services, to continue encouraging inward investments.

TRA is seeking a consultancy firm who will be tasked to prepare a study and draft a statement for public consultation on the appropriate policy to achieve universal service and access to telecommunications services required by residents and businesses. The consultancy firm will also be tasked to draft a national broadband strategy for Bahrain based on assessments of government, consumers and business predicted future needs and requirements.

TRA's General Director Alan Horne said: "HE The Minister and TRA recognise the need to have a thorough assessment of the future telecommunications needs of Bahrain so as to ensure appropriate actions are taken to achieve universal competitive broadband communications services, at internationally competitive prices, in order to support economic and social goals as outlined in the second national telecommunications plan and the 2030 economic vision of Bahrain."

The Request for Proposal document can be found on TRA's website under Tenders. Interested consultancy firms should submit their proposals by 4:00 pm (GMT +3) on 14 May 2009.

* The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) was established in 2002. it is an independent body and its duties and powers include, among other things, protecting the interests of subscribers and users and promoting effective and fair competition among existing and new licensed operators.

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