x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Bahrain telecoms company founded by opposition leader has licence withdrawn

On The Wires: Bahrain's 2 Connect telecoms firm, founded by the leader of the opposition, has had its licence removed by the country's regulator.

MANAMA // Bahrain has withdrawn the licenses of local telecoms and internet provider 2 Connect which was founded by an opposition politician arrested last week in a security operation.

Bahrain's Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) said it had withdrawn all licenses of 2 Connect effective March 27 in a statement late on Monday. The telecoms watchdog did not give a reason for its decision.

Bahrain's commercial registry lists Ibrahim Sharif, head of opposition party Waad, as a founder and director of the firm.

The TRA's decision may affect Bahrain's status as a financial centre as some transaction platforms at Bahraini banks use 2 Connect services. 2 Connect customers have been given a few days to find a new provider.

"We're hoping to minimise the disruption as much as possible. Many customers have started to move to other providers," Ahmed Aldoseri, the TRA's director of information and communications technologies, said on Tuesday.

Executives at 2 Connect, which offers a range of fixed-line and internet services, declined to comment.