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Latest developments in MENA telecoms regulation


Bahrain: new annual spectrum and licence fees

TRA has adopted a new schedule of fees that will apply from January 1, 2018. It covers, among others, the annual spectrum fees, numbering fees, telecom equipment type approval fees and annual licence fees. This will repeal the previous schedule of fees which was adopted in 2010.

In addition, the schedule of fees introduces new fees, levied on each public radiocommunications site, that are composed of one-off fees for granting the permits and annual fees for conducting annual compliance audits.The fees are set to encourage using certain types of radio sites that have less visual and environmental impacts such as camouflaged and wall mounted sites. It also encourages site sharing by imposing the fees only once regardless of the number of service providers sharing the site.

The annual telecommunications licence fees will increase from 0.8% to 1% of licensees' gross annual turnover arising from licenced activities. On the other hand, the numbering assignment fee remained the same (BHD 0.10 (26.60 US$cents) per each 8 digits mobile or fixed number).

It is worth mentioning that Bahrain has lower telecom fees and taxes compared to other MENA countries. In particular, telecom operators in Bahrain are not subject to any corporate tax or any other types of sector-specific fees that are levied by other MENA countries on operators revenues and profits (e.g. royalty fees in Oman and UAE, commercial provisioning fee in Saudi Arabia, revenue sharing obligations in Egypt and Jordan and ICT development fund in Tunisia).


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