Cellcos fined SAR5 million after international roaming dispute

12 Jul 2010

The Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) has imposed a fine of SAR5 million (USD1.33 million) on the three mobile operators which violated its ban on free international roaming. Back in February of this year, the CITC announced that the Kingdom’s three mobile operators – Saudi Telecom Company (STC), Mobily and Zain – must end free international roaming for received calls to their customers. The regulator claimed that the move would ensure that the three cellcos did not ‘tamper with the fair competitive environment’.

The Saudi telecom regulator had earlier ruled that the trio charge SAR0.55 per minute for calls received by customers while out of the Kingdom. Even though the CITC’s move boosts revenue for all three cellcos, they did not welcome the decision, and pursued the case through the Administrative Court’s Board of Grievances, which upheld the regulator’s original decision. Dr. Dhaifallah Al-Zahrani, the CITC’s Deputy Governor for Legal Affairs, said that the Commission would continue to impose fines and penalties on companies found to be violating its rules. ‘We warn the citizens that these offers are not legal,’ he stressed.

Saudi Arabia