Privatisation and liberalisation initiatives have led to increased competition in the Bahraini telecoms sector in recent years, making it one of the most dynamic in the kingdom’s economy, with telecommunications accounting for roughly 4% of GDP in 2012. Mobile penetration stood at 166% in 2013, well above the regional average of 110% and the global average of 96% while the roll out of 4G long-term evolution services is accommodating the huge rise in data demand. Meanwhile the IT sector continues to thrive, with 2013 figures showing that 82% of households in Bahrain had internet access and more than 90% had computers. Government services have increasingly become available online since 2007, with The National eGovernment Strategy for 2016 aiming to bring over 90% of key services used by Bahraini residents and businesses online, including business and office registration, banking services and e-tendering of government contracts.
This chapter contains a roundtable discussion with Alan Whelan, Group CEO, Batelco; Ulaiyan Al Wetaid, CEO, VIVA Bahrain; and Mohammed Zainalabeddin, General Manager, Zain Bahrain.