Market Insight

Batelco Bahrain expands FTTP network

January 27, 2015  | Subscribers Only

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Bahrain Telecommunications Company (Batelco) has expanded its fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) network.

  • The upgraded service comes with a download speed of up to 150Mbps after which Batelco will throttle down speed to 20Mbps.
  • Existing customers will be automatically migrated to the new service for a limited period. All new broadband customers will get access to the fibre network.
  • The recent expansion is now available in Saar, Juffair, Sanad, Khaleej, Tubli, Ishbiliya and Busaiteen.
  • Batelco plans to continue the rollout throughout 2015.

Our analysis

Bahrain’s dominant fixed network operator Batelco is the only provider of FTTP services in the Kingdom. In 2012, the operator sought government funding for fibre rollout and later launched the service with Home Broadband speeds of 100-Mbps via GPON technology in 2013.

The FTTP expansion will lead to better customer experience and enhanced revenue streams for the operator, as well as boosting Batelco’s coverage across Bahrain. The expansion will also help eliminate barriers to adoption as existing customers will be automatically upgraded to a lowest package at no extra cost. Batelco has presented seven new packages, with speeds ranging 8 Mbps to 150 Mbps, with prices starting from BD 25 (USD66.32).

In the third quarter of 2014, Batelco Bahrain had 55,000 fixed broadband subscriptions, an increase of 4% quarter-on-quarter (q/q) and 13% year-on-year (y/y). The operator stated that the upswing is attributable to Batelco’s continuous FTTP expansion. Batelco currently offers a triple play service consisting of fixed voice, fixed broadband, Wi-Fi access and IPTV over its FTTP network. The operator stated that its most recent FTTP expansion will facilitate the delivery of Smart Home services such as internet TV and Quadro Play.

In addition to Batelco's attempt to increase fixed broadband customer base, the operator stated that it is currently upgrading its entire network system including its 4G network to provide faster mobile broadband connections. Further, the telco recently introduced pre-pay and post-pay packages aimed at young people aged 18 to 24. The new youth mobile plan will help capture a vital segment of Bahrain telecoms market in an attempt to deter MVNOs from entering the Bahraini mobile market.


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