Industry Trend Analysis - Tower Sharing a Possible Precursor to Sales - MAR 2018

BMI View: A new regulatory framework will allow tower sharing in Bahrain, lowering infrastructure costs for operators and giving a boost to competition. We believe the re is a strong possibility for specialised tower operator s to take over tower ownership and maintenance in the near future.

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) of Bahrain will encourage shared usage of telecommunication towers by operators under a new regulatory framework. In its efforts to encourage competition in the mobile market, the TRA had allowed telecommunication towers to be deployed with little to no oversight, which resulted in visual and safety issues. The new regulation will limit the replication of towers without operational need.

This development by the TRA reflects our global key view regarding more focused investment by companies ( see ' Key Themes For Telecoms In 2018 ', December 13 2017). As LTE investment peaks, network sharing will increase and disposal of non-core asset will become more commonplace, either by tower sales or the creation of specialised infrastructure companies. The Bahraini mobile market is mature, with a penetration rate exceeding 190% as of Q317. It has very elusive organic subscriber growth rates, so operators will focus on 4G uptake to increase ARPUs.

Limited Organic Growth In Highly Saturated Market
Industry Trends - Mobile (2015-2021)
Spurce: BMI, Operators, Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA)

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