Transportation and Telecommunication Minister Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed said that Bahrain 5G nationwide coverage is almost achieved, having reached 95%. Bahrain nationwide 5G coverage
“This achievement is an important milestone towards enhancing readiness for next generation ICT services such as the Internet of Things, Machine-to-Machine communications and other emerging technologies,” the minister said.
The latest achievement is another accomplishment during the prosperous era of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, and under the directives and follow-up of His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister, he added.
“This achievement also solidifies Bahrain’s position as country that enjoys a robust and widely accessible fixed and wireless telecommunications infrastructure. It is part of the efforts to consolidate the Kingdom’s digital economy, the development of the digital transformation process in all sectors, and the development of new sectors such as artificial intelligence. This should enable the communication and information technology sector to better support growth in all sectors of the economy and boost its contribution to economic growth,” the minister told Bahrain News Agency (BNA).
He highlighted the importance of strengthening smart communication infrastructure and adopting regulations that would encourage innovation and investment in the promising telecommunications sector, especially since Bahrain is today among the first countries to provide 5G services on a large local scale in the world.
The telecommunication companies today have a prominent role in developing the sector and preparing it for a new information world with broader and more comprehensive features. The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority follows up the implementation of the projects with companies and ensures their readiness while ensuring an appropriate regulatory environment for the availability of modern technologies in Bahrain
“We are continually striving to ensure that the Kingdom of Bahrain maintains its position among global leaders in this crucial sector. This includes ensuring availability of ubiquitous national high-speed broadband, deploying commercial 5G services and enhancing readiness for next generation ICT services such as the Internet of Things and Machine-to-Machine communications,” the minister said.
The achievement of nationwide 5G coverage is a reflection of the government’s efforts and vision to put at the forefront of its priorities the availability of a robust and widely accessible digital infrastructure in the Kingdom. It will support the growth of digital economy and enhance Bahrain’s readiness to harness the power of ICT and innovation for a more promising future, he added.
“We trust that the ability to generate, use, and ultimately export innovation will be central to the ambitions to grow and diversify our economy towards high value-added sectors such as content development and Artificial Intelligence (AI).”
The International Telecommunication Union ICT Development Index (IDI) has ranked Bahrain as the leader in the Arab world and 31st globally, which reflects the significant progress Bahrain has achieved in this sector since the liberalization of the telecommunications sector.
All of the Middle East nation’s 1.5 million population are now able to access the high-speed service, and investment experts hope that the roll-out will attract other heavyweight tech firms in the post-COVID era, as companies look to make full use of the wide promise of next generation technologies across a wide variety of applications.
Bahrain’s telecoms sector attracted some BHD 787 million in investments (more than 2 billion US dollars) between 2009 and 2019. In line with ambitious economic diversification efforts, the country’s ICT sector now accounts for nearly three per cent of national GDP.
Researchers estimate that there will be more than 1 billion 5G connections by 2023, and Bahrain’s nationwide roll-out places the country at the forefront of this global technological advancement for both B2B and B2C applications.
Bahrain was the first GCC member to open and liberalise its telecoms market, which remains one of the region’s only telecoms markets with no restrictions on VoIP services.
The telecom sector in Bahrain attracted total investment of BD 787 million (over $2 billion) between 2009 and 2019 and the telecom sector GDP contribution was 3% (2019).