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Bahrain

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Bh

BasicsEdit

Bahrain has three mobile network providers:

  • Batelco
  • Zain
  • Viva

2G/GSM is on 900 and 1800 MHz, 3G/UMTS on 2100 MHz and 4G/LTE on 1800 MHz has started on all three operators. 4G/LTE is available on prepaid. All providers cover already 95-99% of the country by 4G/LTE in 2016.

Legalities and restrictions Edit

Visitors can buy SIM cards in the agencies of the operators and authorized dealers, including at the airport. Since 2010 you must register your personal details showing a passport with the service provider. If you do not, your mobile phone will be cut off.

Further restrictions on the sale of SIM cards were introduced in 2015. A regulation was issued that limits individuals from purchasing no more than 10 prepaid SIM cards from a single service provider. They must be present in person when registering SIM cards and providers must re-check the identity of all subscribers on annual basis. Fingerprints will be used for subscriber identification. Additionally, SIM cards will only be available for sale directly from service providers.

Always have in mind that Bahrain is a country, where the internet is severely filtered or censored. It is labeled as "Enemy of the Internet" by Wikipedia. You don't have access to many usual sites, unless you install a VPN proxy program/app before using.

BatelcoEdit

Batelco

Batelco is the national provider and the only landline/ADSL provider. It's the market leader with a 38% customer share. As in most cases it has both best coverage and is the most expensive at the same time. 

Their prepaid SIM card is called 'SimSim' and sold for 2 BHD in their shops: (Locator.) Vouchers for refills are available for 1, (2), 3, (4), 5, 10, 20 and (30) BHD giving 5-430 days of validity. Refills in () are by electronic top-up only. Amounts of 5 BHD and more give 5-20% bonus as add-on.

They sell different SimSim lines. But it doesn't make a difference for data. Default rate is always 0.70 BHD per MB. So you better buy these data packages below.

Data feature packs Edit

Data Period Price max. Speed Activation
250 MB 7 days 1 BHD 3G 3G1
1 GB 2 BHD 4G/LTE 4G2
1 GB 30 days 3 BHD 4G3
2 GB 4 BHD 4G4
4 GB 5 BHD 4G5
5 GB 6 BHD 4G6
7 GB 7 BHD 4G7
15 GB 30 BHD 4G30
1 GB

per month

180 days 15 BHD 3G 3G15
360 days 30 BHD 3G30

To activate send code in brackets (without the brackets) to 4554 or dial *888#. Packages will renew automatically if there is credit. To stop text DSMS to 4554. Using more data, speed will be throttled. To check data volumes, type *888*1*1#.

Data-only SIM Edit

Furthermore, they sell data-only SIM cards called "Prepaid Mobile Broadband". A mobile broadband starter is sold for 3 BHD with 1 GB LTE data valid for 15 days. It can be refilled by top-ups corresponding to a certain data bundle:

Refill Data Period max. Speed
1 BHD 1 GB 3 days 3G
2 BHD 1 GB 10 days
3 BHD 2 GB 30 days
4 BHD 3 GB
5 BHD 4 GB 4G/LTE
10 BHD 7 GB
20 BHD 20 GB
30 BHD 30 GB

You have to book the packages in your client's area. Speed will be throttled beyond the limit.

More information Edit

ZainEdit

Zain

Zain in the second carrier in Bahrain coming from Kuwait. All data on prepaid are on 4G/LTE too.

Their prepaid voice and data SIM card is called "Dangerous" and sold for 1 BHD with a credit of 1 BHD in their shops, including at the airport. Locator

Recharge vouchers are sold all over from 1 to 30 BHD giving a bonus of 10-25% from 10 BHD and 5 to 420 days of service validity.

Prepaid offer Edit

'Dangerous' has a weekly subscription price of 1 BHD and includes 30 mins domestic calls, unlimited Zain calls, some international calls and 2.5 GB of data (all for a week). For 3 BHD you'll get 50 mins domestic and 3 GB per week. Change by *100#.

Data feature packs Edit

They offer these packages for more data:

Data Period Price max. Speed
'unlimited' daily 500 fils 3G
1 GB weekly 1 BHD
1 GB monthly 2 BHD
4 GB 5 BHD 4G/LTE
15 GB 8 BHD
10 GB 4 BHD
'unlimited' 15 BHD

Note, that the FUP of the 'unlimited' packages is not specified. To subscribe, type *555*1#. To activate 4G/LTE you may need to dial *440#.

Data-only SIM Edit

Furthermore, they sell data-only SIM cards called e-GO with these starter packs:

  • 4 GB, 10 days: 2 BHD
  • 5 GB, 30 days: 12 BHD including a free 3G (!) USB dongle

To activate 4G/LTE dial *943#. The following 'unlimited' packages on 4G/LTE too can be booked on these e-GO SIM cards. Note that every top-up voucher corresponds to a package and 'unlimited' is governed by a Fair Use Policy:

  • 1 BHD: 2 GB for 3 days
  • 2 BHD: 5 GB for 10 day
  • 4 BHD: 12 GB for 30 days
  • 10 BHD: 20 GB for 60 days
  • 20 BHD: 30 GB for 60 days
  • 25 BHD: 40 GB for 90 days
  • 30 BHD: 50 GB for 90 days

When reached data quota, speed will be throttled to 256 kbps.

More information Edit

VivaEdit

Viva

Viva is the 3rd and newest carrier coming from Saudi Arabia. It has the reputation of having the lowest rates and the best value-for-money while coverage and speed is not so good. 

The SIM card is available for 2 BHD and comes with 1 BHD credit preloaded in their stores (locator) and authorized dealers. 4G/LTE is enabled on all prepaid plans.

You can check your balance by dialing *101#. Recharge cards are available for 500 fills, 1, 3, 5, 10, 15 and 25 BHD. Recharge by *100*<voucher PIN>#. To check balance, type *101#.

Data feature packsEdit

They sell these monthly data packages all on 4G/LTE:

  • 1 GB: 3 BHD - activation: *88825*33#
  • 2 GB: 4 BHD - activation: *88825*4#
  • 4 GB: 5 BHD - activation: *88825*53#
  • 7 GB: 8 BHD - activation: *88825*83#
  • 15 GB: 15 BHD - activation: *88825*153#
  • 30 GB: 25 BHD - activation: *88825*25#
  • 60 GB: 35 BHD - activation: *88825*35#

All packages auto-renew after one month. To unsubscribe type #88825#.

Data-only SIM Edit

They sell data-only SIM cards called 'Viva Prepaid Broadband' with these starter packs all on 4G/LTE:

  • 2 GB for 15 days: 2 BHD
  • 3 GB for 30 days: 12 BHD including a free 3G(!) USB dongle
  • 3 GB for 90 days: 10 BHD
  • 4 GB for 180 days: 18 BHD
  • 5 GB for 360 days: 35 BHD

The following packages on 4G/LTE can be booked on these data-only SIM cards:

  • for 3 days:
    • 1 GB: 1 BHD
  • for 30 days:
    • 4 GB: 3 BHD
    • 6 GB: 5 BHD
  • for 60 days:
    • 12 GB: 10 BHD
    • 17 GB: 15 BHD
  • for 90 days:
    • 24 GB: 20 BHD
    • 32 GB: 25 BHD
  • for 180 days:
    • 42 GB: 30 BHD

After reaching data quota, speed will be reduced.

More information Edit

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