Bahrain Network is carrying out several initiatives to ensure that it is able to achieve the objectives of Bahrain Vision 2030, which was established in 2008 to provide a roadmap for the industry to work around the pillars of sustainability, competitiveness and fairness. Bahrain Vision 2030 is working towards creating a foundation of robust and future-ready communication networks for businesses and people.
“We are targeting to complete the full island coverage by the end of the year, connecting 100% of businesses and over 95% of residences. We plan to place Bahrain at the number one rank in terms of broadband speeds and availability throughout the country,” says Ahmed Jaber Aldoseri, CEO of Bahrain Network (BNET). He was speaking in an interview with Shaun Collins, Executive Chairman of CCS Insight.
Focusing on Bahrain Vision 2030 has resulted in an average of 7% growth year-on-year of non-oil sectors in the country. Besides, telecommunications and ICT industries are contributing about 7% of the country’s GDP as of last year.
As per Bahrain’s fifth National Telecommunication Plan (NTP5), BNET was formed to accelerate the growth and economic diversification of the country’s telecom sector. In 2019, the network infrastructure of Batelco was transferred to BNET and the latter became the only fibre network infrastructure provider in the country, which is responsible for deploying and managing fixed wholesale broadband and domestic connectivity services to licensed operators and its retail arm.
The company faced several challenges as the entire process of division from the incumbent operator occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic, which required us to complete the entire separation in two years, and I am happy to say that we concluded it successfully.
“BNET was built on the principle of equivalence of input. This means that after the separation of the incumbent operator, BNET had the exclusive right over the infrastructure in Bahrain and was required to ensure that everyone in Bahrain was treated equally, which meant that we had to transform the mindset of the employees to work in a customer-centric manner. This further required us to ensure that our products met with the expectations of everyone in the industry,” says Ahmed Jaber Aldoseri.
The company is also taking the lead in creating a best-in-class and future-ready communications infrastructure. BNET ensures that the network infrastructure adopts open standards in all possible ways. BNET is also the only private company from Bahrain to be a member of the ITU-T, which ensures that it always keeps abreast of the latest technological developments in telecom.
“We are a cloud-native company and the only one in the region with this status, which means that our adoption of new technologies is faster, more reliable, and more robust. We also ensure that BNET is available in most industry fora to participate and effectively collaborate with its key stakeholders for the benefit of Bahrain,” elaborates Ahmed Jaber Aldoseri.
BNET is also focusing on expanding in adjacent markets and growing the scope of services it offers while ensuring Bahrain has a competitive offering when it comes to telecommunications infrastructure regionally and internationally.
A best-in-class telecom network is crucial to helping businesses quickly digitally transform themselves and realize their potential in the digital economy. As the demands from communications networks continue to increase, BNET has adopted a proactive approach to building networks that will help Bahrain grow its profile in the digital economy. BNET’s approach to focus on Bahrain Vision 2030 will motivate other service providers to build networks that drive the region’s economy.