When Batelco was first founded in 1981, Bahrain already had 45,627 telephone lines in use. By 1982, the number reached 50,000. In 1985, the country's first fibre optic cable was installed. Batelco enjoyed being a monopoly in the telecommunications sector for the next two decades. By 1999, the company had around 100,000 mobile contracts.
In 2002, under pressure from international bodies, Bahrain implemented its telecommunications law which included the establishment of an independent Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA). In 2003, Batelco's monopoly over the sector broke when the TRA awarded a license to MTC Vodafone, which later re-branded itself as Zain. In January 2010, VIVA (a subsidiary of STC) started operations in Bahrain.
Read more about this topic: Communications In Bahrain
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