Telecommunications and Space Science

Bahrain Information and Communications Infrastructure, Cybersecurity, and emerging technology.

How is the Kingdom of Bahrain soaring high in both the digital and celestial realms? Bahrain's journey in telecommunications and space science is an example of its forward-thinking vision and commitment to embracing the future.

In the Telecommunications sector, Bahrain stands as a trailblazer with a fully liberalized market since 2002, earning the reputation of having the most unrestricted telecom sector. This liberalization has led to widespread access to high-speed internet across the Kingdom, facilitated by both fixed and wireless broadband lines. Notably, Bahrain offers these services at prices that are not only affordable but also the lowest in the region, making digital connectivity accessible to all its citizens.

The Telecommunication Law (PDF, 663 KB, 60 pages) of Bahrain has established BNET, an independent entity dedicated to enabling a Smart and Connected Kingdom. BNET's mission is to provide accessible and reliable fiber connectivity at fair and reasonable prices, thereby fostering a digitally inclusive society.

The Kingdom's Telecommunication Plan outlines a strategic vision for the next three years, ensuring that the telecommunications sector aligns with global trends and local demands, particularly those of the digital economy and 4th industrial revolution technologies.

A significant feather in Bahrain's technological cap is its early adoption of 5G networks. As one of the first countries in the GCC and MENA regions to launch 5G, Bahrain achieved full national 5G coverage by 2021. This accomplishment isn't just about faster internet speeds; it's a leap toward advanced ICT services like the Internet of Things and Machine-to-Machine communications, heralding a new era of connectivity and innovation.

Bahrain's expertise in telecommunications is globally recognized, with the Kingdom ranking 3rd regionally and 7th globally in the ICT Development Index (IDI) according to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) 2023. This achievement highlights Bahrain's infrastructure's robustness and readiness to support future digital advancements.

Telecommunications Highlights in Bahrain

  • Bahrain is the first Gulf country to adopt a nationwide ‘cloud-first’ policy.
  • Bahrain ranked 1st globally for digital literacy based on the 2021 Inclusive Internet Index.
  • Bahrain also achieved the top position globally in Network Infrastructure & Internet 1+users in the 2021 Inclusive Internet Index.
  • As a founding member of the Digital Cooperation Organization, Bahrain is dedicated to advancing digital cooperation, enabling prosperity for all, and addressing the challenges posed by the global pandemic.
  • Bahrain became a member of the International Telecommunications Union Council in 2022 and committed to 10 pledges as part of the ITU Partner to Connect Global Coalition.
  • The nationwide implementation of 5G services in Bahrain, with download speeds exceeding 2Gbps, showcases its status as one of the first countries in the world to achieve this technological milestone (2020).

Ascending beyond terrestrial achievements, Bahrain has also set its sights on space science. The establishment of the National Space Science Agency (NSSA) in 2014 marked Bahrain's ambitious entry into the space arena. With a vision to propel Bahrain into international prominence in space science, while achieving comprehensive and sustainable development, the NSSA has focused its space activities efforts in promoting awareness on space science, technology and applications, developing national cadres, stimulating advances in space research to support innovation and economic prosperity​, constructing a sound space infrastructure to support the growth in the national space sector, establishing relationships of cooperation, responding to national requirements by providing satellite data and analytical studies for achieving comprehensive and sustainable development, contributing to supporting a sustainable national economy through space activities and approving the principles that regulate the Kingdom’s activities in the field of space.

NSSA has embarked on several pioneering initiatives. These include building, launching, and operating nanosatellites focused on building national capabilities, laying the groundwork for a robust national space science foundation, and supporting space research. Additionally, NSSA is setting up a laboratory for processing and analyzing space data and images to fulfill national needs and establishing a ground station for Earth observation satellites in Low Earth Orbit (LEO).

With the launch of “Light-1”, the first Emirati-Bahraini 3U CubeSat in 2021, Bahrain announced its first fully Bahraini 3U CubeSat, to be named “AlMunther”. The Bahrain Space Team is currently working on the qualification and testing phase of the satellite, with the completion rate reaching 55% (as of March 2024). “Al Munther” includes several payloads designed to enhance scientific research in space, artificial intelligence, and cyber security, in addition to providing Earth Observation capabilities. The “Aman” payload project, which is currently in progress with a 45% completion rate(as of March 2024), was announced the winner of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) Payload Hosting Initiative (PHI) during the 73rd International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in 2022. The Bahrain Space Team is responsible for fully designing, assembling and testing the payload, to onboard the MBRSC 12U satellite. The payload will secure satellite data by implementing an optimized novel encryption algorithm. The NSSA is also participating in the “813” Earth Observation Satellite program, led by the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The program involves the design, build and launch of a Microsatellite, hosting a hyperspectral optical instrument. After signing the Artemis Accords, NSSA has also embarked on lunar exploration missions, and the Bahrain Space Team is in the process of developing the first Bahraini payload to onboard a lunar rover.

In 2023, the statistical data showcased promising progress for the NSSA’s Satellite Images & Data Analysis Laboratory. The laboratory experienced significant growth in project developments, with a notable increase of 42%. Additionally, the number of national and international joint projects tripled, indicating a substantial expansion in collaborative endeavors. Moreover, there was a remarkable 167% surge in the demand for the NSSA's services, particularly in satellite image processing and EO data analysis.

Through these remarkable strides in telecommunications and space science, Bahrain is not only enhancing its technological landscape but also positioning itself as a leader in these cutting-edge fields. The Kingdom's commitment to harnessing the potential of digital and space technologies is paving the way for comprehensive and sustainable development, showcasing Bahrain's dedication to innovation and progress.




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As we navigate through the digital age, Bahrain confirms its commitment to transparency and innovation through the Open Data initiative through Bahrain’s Open Data Portal. This platform is a testament to our dedication to making government data openly available, supporting the principles of accountability and enabling informed decision-making. By providing access to a treasure trove of data, we empower everyone to explore, analyze, and create solutions that drive social and economic progress. The initiative underscores our belief in the power of data to transform lives, foster a culture of knowledge-sharing, and stimulate growth.

We encourage you to leverage this valuable resource, sparking innovation and contributing to the Kingdom’s development. For an enriching journey into the world of Open Data, and to explore the possibilities, visit Bahrain’s Open Data Portal.

Together, let's embrace the opportunity to contribute to Bahrain's digital evolution and ensure that our journey towards national development is a shared endeavor. 

As part of the Kingdom of Bahrain’s unwavering commitment to fostering digital participation, you are invited to explore the available participation topics. Your engagement and contributions are crucial in shaping the digital landscape of the Kingdom of Bahrain, reflecting our collective vision for a future built on the principles of innovation, inclusivity, and progress. Explore more on how you can actively participate in discussions, share your insights, and collaborate on initiatives that are at the heart of our nation's growth.

For a broader exploration of topics and to join the conversation, please visit eParticipation.  

Content Last Updated: 25 Jun, 2024

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