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Data Roaming in the GCC now costs 35% less, among other roaming price reductions

Seef District, Kingdom of Bahrain – Sunday,02nd of April 2017

As part of the collaboration with the GCC countries, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) Bahrain announces that citizens across the six nations will enjoy further price reductions on roaming rates as of 1 April, 2017. This marks the second year of price reductions, and will continue with further reductions every year, until 2020. The Roaming Regulation began with the GCC Ministerial Committee’s first decision in 2010, when the need arose to address the high costs of roaming that consumers were exposed to. This lead to the formation of the Roaming Working Group, represented by regulators from each Gulf country and spearheaded by TRA Bahrain with the goal of enriching the lives of its residents and citizens with a solution for more accessible roaming services.

“91 Million mobile users in the GCC will be able to take advantage of the new price caps and due credit goes to the effort, vision and collaboration of the GCC countries through the GCC Council’s collaborative work and our counterparts in the regulatory field.” Says Deputy General Director of TRA, Sheikh Nasser Bin Mohamed Al Khalifa. “The prices consumers used to pay for roaming services tended to be relatively high and this roaming regulation is key to realizing a solution. Through the success of this initiative, GCC citizens can now enjoy more welfare. This will continue to improve in the years to come as we establish a mature and more competitive telecoms environment.” He further added.

In 2016 the cost of international calls made from within the GCC costed 241 fils per minute while in 2017 this was reduced to 233 fils. National calls made within the GCC used to cost 98 fils per minute which went down to 94 fils. SMS messages used to cost 30 fils last year compared to 26 fils per message in 2017. Finally data roaming rates in 2016 used to cost 489 fils per megabyte which was reduced to 320 fils.

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This initiative aligns the GCC with global trends such as those practiced by the European Union among other regional groups.

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About TRA
Since its establishment in 2002, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) of the Kingdom of Bahrain has been working with government, consumers, operators and investors to develop the country into the region’s most modern communications hub and to facilitate the growth of the market. As an exemplary Regulator for the region, TRA Bahrain independently carries out its duties in a transparent and non-discriminatory manner. More information about TRA can be viewed at www.tra.org.bh.

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