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Bahrain mobile phone users top 1.9 million

MANAMA: Bahrain has 1.9 million mobile subscribers representing a penetration rate of 158 per cent, at half year.

There is an increase in all areas of mobile services including mobile traffic and revenues, add-on data services and overall mobile service subscriber penetration, according to the latest market indicators report by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA).

Domestic mobile-originated traffic reached 5.1 billion minutes last year, an increase of 35pc from the previous year.

Mobile telephone services continue to be a significant market segment, accounting for 46pc of retail telecoms services revenues, which was up from 44pc in 2010.

Mobile-originated international outgoing minutes made up 92pc of the total international outgoing minutes last year.

"Consumers have taken advantage of developments in mobile phone services offered in Bahrain, resulting in a steady increase in subscribers and revenues," said Minister of State for Telecommunications Affairs Shaikh Fawaz bin Mohammed Al Khalifa.

The report also indicated a dramatic rise in BlackBerry users.

By the end of last year, there were 210,000 BlackBerry subscribers, representing 12.5pc of all mobile subscribers and a considerable increase of 123pc from 2010.

There were approximately 43,700 mobile users who subscribed to add-on data services, at the end of 2011 compared to 11,500 in the previous year.

"There is significant growth in the mobile telecoms market, which has been very positively impacted by the healthy competition between the three mobile networks operating in Bahrain since 2009," said Shaikh Fawaz.

"This is borne out by the increase in mobile subscription penetration, up from 130pc in 2008 to the current 158pc.

"There is a 176pc increase in domestic mobile calls between 2008 and 2011 as well as an increase of 570pc in mobile broadband services in the two-year period between June 2010 and June 2012."

The seventh market indicators report released by the TRA covers analyses and statistics from the beginning of last year through the second quarter of this year.



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