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12 August 2019

Charles Russell Speechlys advises Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Bahrain (the “TRA”) on the formation of BNet BSC

Charles Russell Speechlys has advised the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Bahrain (the “TRA”) on the formation of BNet BSC, a newly formed legal entity created following the separation of the Bahrain Telecommunications Company (“Batelco”), which will offer wholesale communications products to other licensed operators in the Kingdom of Bahrain. This is the culmination of a ground-breaking three year project which will transform the telecommunications landscape of the Kingdom of Bahrain.

Leading the Charles Russell Speechlys team, Gareth Mills, partner at the firm’s Bahrain office, said: “The separation of a former incumbent telecommunication provider (Batelco) into a national broadband company and a retail operator was a regional first and reflects the ambition of the Bahrain Government to create a global best in class ICT environment in the Kingdom. We are extremely proud to have assisted the TRA in delivering such an important and complex regulatory project to time and in accordance with objectives of the Fourth National Telecommunications Plan.”  

Charles Russell Speechlys has supported the TRA by providing legal advice in relation to the functional separation of Batelco since 2016. This has included advising on the drafting of the newly created Fixed Telecommunications Infrastructure Network Licence awarded to BNet, the changes to the telecommunications licences of all other licensed operators that were required to reflect the changes to the market place, the creation of a bespoke committee to monitor the compliance of BNet with the legislative objectives of NTP4, advising on the Reference Offers of BNet and Batelco and on the range of wholesale products that BNet would need to offer to the other licensed operators. In addition the Charles Russell Speechlys team advised on temporary changes to the Telecommunications Law of the Kingdom of Bahrain and the passing of enabling regulatory instruments that allowed the separation project to proceed smoothly.

The team drew on TMT regulatory and commercial experience from the Bahrain and London offices and was led by Gareth Mills and Paul Stone with assistance from by Megan Paul, Mark Bailey, David Hicks, Haleema Wahid, Tanya Wilkie and Rebecca Brown.

Read more on the TRA website: Notification regarding the effective date of BNET B.S.C. Reference Offer