Bahrain Telecommunications Company (Batelco) is a Bahrain-based shareholding company engaged in the provision of integrated telecommunications and information solutions. The Company caters individual and corporate customers through its home, mobile and business products and services. It offers its services through two divisions: Personal and Business. Its Personal services include mobile services, which offer pay as you go, messaging and other related services; Internet services, and fixed services, which offer national and international telephony services, calling cards and other related services. The Business division offers such products as mobility solutions, Internet and E-services, connectivity and continuity, enterprise solutions and wholesale. Batelco operates through subsidiaries and joint ventures in Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, India, Yemen and Saudi Arabia.
Bahrains first telecommunications link to the rest of the world dates back to 1864, when the island was connected to the Indo-European undersea telegraphic cable. This remained the only telecom medium until 1931 when Cable & Wireless predecessors started to operate radio links that provided telegram and telephony services.
During the 1930s the Electricity Department operated the countrys first telephone exchange with 15 staff members, two motor cars and 39 lines in operation. The first telegraphic office opened in 1947, closely followed by the installation of Bahrains first automatic telephone exchange in 1949. The company was known at that time as the Imperial and International Communications Company, later to be incorporated in the Wireless Telegraph Company in early 1949.
In 1969 Bahrain entered the age of Satellite communication as the Middle Easts first satellite station was opened by the late Amir HH Shaikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa at Ras Abu Jarjour.
1979 – Bahrain became a partner in the Gulf submarine coaxial cable linking Bahrain to Qatar and the UAE
1980 – First digital telephone exchange opened 1981: Batelco established, with Cable & Wireless taking a 40 per cent stake 1982: Batelco connected the 50,000th fixed telephone line in Bahrain
1983: Work commenced on laying the coaxial cable to link Bahrain to Qatar and the UAE
1984: Batelco opens its first ARABSAT earth station
1985: Bahrains first Fibre Optic cable; first section installed
1986: BLEEP (Bahrain Long Executive Electronic Pager) superseded by a fully automatic alphanumeric paging system
1987: Contract signed to construct phase 2 of new 11 storey Diplomat Area building to provide public counters and offices 1988: Construction begins on Batelcos Hamala Headquarters
1989: Cable & Wireless sells 20% of its shares to Bahrain Government
1990: A Fibre Optic cable, first of its kind in the ME, laid along the 26km King Fahad Causeway, becomes operational
1991: The first 128 kilobits-per-second data circuit in the Arabian Gulf established to the UK
1992: Bahrain becomes one of the first countries in the world with complete