TRA, Bahrain’s regulator, has stopped a multi-band spectrum auction after a successful appeal by Menatelecom, a local WiMAX operator.
Under earlier revised auction rules, TRA scrapped open bidding in favour of restricting participation to the kingdom’s three mobile operators – Batelco, Kuwait’s Zain and Viva Bahrain (an affiliate of Saudi Telecom).
Menatelecom, which runs a nationwide WiMAX network – and is an investment subsidiary of Kuwait Finance House (Bahrain) – objected to the change and took legal action against Bahrain’s regulator.
The auction, due to start on 31 March, has now been halted indefinitely according to a Reuters report.
The wireless frequencies that were due to go under the hammer are in the 900MHz, 1800MHz, 1900MHz, 2100MHz and 2600MHz bands.
TeleGeography reports that all mobility restrictions had been removed from Menatelecom’s fixed-line 3.5GHz licence in February, but that was clearly not enough to satisfy the operator’s mobile broadband ambitions.
Menetalecom has already announced its intention to rollout a nationwide LTE network, based on TDD technology, reusing its existing 3.5GHz frequencies. Huawei was unveiled as its TD-LTE supplier in January.