News, Telecoms

Telcos secure mobile network coverage across 99% of Bahrain

Mohamed Alnoaimi, TRA director of Technical Operations
Mohamed Alnoaimi, TRA director of Technical Operations

Bahrain telecom operators have achieved mobile network coverage across 99 percent of the population, whether through calls or data usage on both 3G and 4G handsets.

The announcement was made by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) in its recently published mobile quality service report for 2017, which highlighted that all operators have improved their performance levels for data use, particularly since the activation of 4G in 2014.

The average speed for a download session, which was 8.4 Mb/s in 2011, is now 37.3Mb/s, and 73.6 percent of files are now downloaded with a speed exceeding 10Mb/s.

Uploading a file is also faster than the previous years, as the average speed was approximately 1Mb/s with 3G only, while it is now over 23Mb/s. The average time to upload a 50MB file is now less than 30 seconds, which is particularly relevant in the use social networking applications.

Voice service quality on a mobile network has significantly increased since 2014, as the rate of perfect calls (2 minute calls, with no drop and no quality defect during the communication) is now 99.3 percent, against 93.8 percent 3 years ago.

While SMS service usage has decreased with the rise of social networks and messaging apps, it is still at performing well, with 96.6 percent of SMS messages being received within 15 seconds.

The use of the Internet has been evaluated analysing the most popular browsing sites in Bahrain, which include Google, Facebook, and YouTube. The average time to load a webpage is around 3 seconds, and 96 percent of web pages have been downloaded within 10 seconds.

The most popular social networks have been evaluated as far back as 2016. The available speed for uploading files onto Facebook is around 10MB/s, which means that an average volume of 18MB of data is transferred within 30 seconds. With Instagram, it takes approximately five seconds to publish a photo made with the handset.

“The TRA of the Kingdom of Bahrain prepared this report in the continued interest of the promotion and improvement of Quality of Service,” said Mohamed Alnoaimi, TRA director of Technical Operations.

“TRA is the only authority in the GCC to publish results of field tests measurements using protocols built to be as close as possible to user experience. The effect of this policy is that industry results of mobile network in Bahrain are maintained at the best international standards quality levels for the whole range of mobile services as shown in the report published on the TRA’s website,” he added.

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