Arab Advisors Group
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Bahrain's well-developed Internet market is set to enter a competitive stage?
Sunday, November 3, 2002

A newly released report from the Arab Advisors Group fully analyzes the Bahraini Internet and Datacomm Landscape. This lucrative market is set for liberalization as of 2003, which will have a positive effect on the prevailing rates in the market.

November 03, 2002 -

Bahrain is a small and well-developed country. It hosts a strong online presence that is crowded with content. Most of the Bahraini official newspapers, magazines and many other informative sites are presented online. The country's high literacy rates and high GDP per capita enable the uptake of the Internet and datacomm services. In addition, the fact that Bahrain is the leading center for the offshore banking and financial services in the gulf increases the demand for such advanced services therefore augmenting the subscriber base in the country.

A new report, "Bahrain Internet and Datacomm Landscape 2002" was released to the Arab Advisors Group's ( Strategic Research Service subscribers on October 28, 2002. The report reveals that the Internet access revenues for the year 2001 stood at US$ 21 million, contributing around 4% of Batelco's total revenues.

"The growth in the Internet market in Bahrain will continue. Even with Batelco's monopoly, the Internet usage in the country is currently high, with a subscribers' penetration rate of 6.44% as of yearend 2001." Arab Advisors Group's analyst, Hala Baqain wrote in the report. "The market can sustain more growth especially with the effect of anticipated competition in 2003. We expect it to have extensive competition-induced rate reductions that will further enhance the uptake of the Internet services. The ADSL service will have a whopping share of the Internet subscriber base as we expect it to reach 14% of the Internet total number of subscribers in 2006, one of the highest in the region." Miss Baqain added.

The 30 plus-pages report, which has 30 detailed exhibits, shows that Batelco's strategic relationship with Cable & Wireless has allowed Batelco to become a very savvy datacomm provider in the region. The operator is spearheading the global datacomm provider's network in the region. The datacomm services (including the leased circuits) are Batelco's third major revenue stream following the fixed and mobile services. The PDN market contributes a big share of the operator's total revenues; in 2001 it generated more than US$ 34 million (not including leased circuits), 8% of Batelco's total revenues.

"E-commerce has a foothold in Bahrain. While it is relatively still new to the region, Bahrain, coupled with a few other countries in the region has a somewhat advanced e-commerce market." Miss Baqain noted.

The Arab Advisors Group's team of analysts in the region has already produced close to 125 reports on the Arab World's communications markets. The reports can be purchased individually or received through an annual subscription to Arab Advisors Group's ( Strategic Research Service. To date, Arab Advisors Group has served more than 60 global and regional companies by providing reliable research analysis and forecasts of Arab communications markets to these clients.

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