NERA Director Nigel Attenborough Named to TRA Panel Tasked with Re-Evaluating Unsuccessful Bids at Forthcoming Auction

19 October 2006

Nigel Attenborough, a Director in NERA's Communications Practice in London, is one of three experts selected by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of the Kingdom of Bahrain (TRA) to re-evaluate unsuccessful bids at the forthcoming auction of two National Fixed Wireless Services (NFWS) licences, the closing date of which will be 28 November 2006.

All submitted bids will enter a pre-qualification stage, where they will be evaluated against the TRA's technical, legal, and financial criteria. Only bids that pass the pre-qualification stage will be eligible to participate in the actual auction. The TRA has introduced to the evaluation process the additional safeguard of the expert panel, which will re-evaluate any bids that are not successful and present the TRA with its conclusions as to whether the TRA's assessment of the unsuccessful bids was appropriate. If the panel reaches the conclusion that a bid meets the qualification criteria, then the panel will advise the TRA of the same.

The ultimate decision of whether to include a bid in the list of successful bids remains with the TRA, but unless exceptional reasons exist it will be following the advice of the experts. If for any reason the advice of the experts is not followed the relevant party and the experts will be advised accordingly.

The NFWS licences are of particular importance to the Bahraini telecommunications market, as the licences entitle the winners to offer local voice telephony, Internet access, international calls, and other services directly to end customers.

Mr. Attenborough, who prior to joining NERA served as Head of Regulatory Economics and Competition Policy at British Telecom, has directed a wide variety of projects for telecommunications companies, regulatory authorities, and government departments. His main areas of expertise include sector liberalization and reform, regulation, costing studies, end user pricing, and interconnection charges.

The other panelists are Peter Alexiadis, a partner at the Brussels office of the law firm Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher specializing in competition and communications law, and Peter Walker, an engineer specializing in telecommunications.

Please director inquiries to:
Nigel Attenborough
Director
+44 20 7659 8514

NERA Economic Consulting (www.nera.com), founded in 1961 as National Economic Research Associates, is a unit of Mercer Specialty Consulting, an MMC company.

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