Mobily banned from selling pre-paid SIMs; LTE coverage up to 85%

26 Nov 2012

Saudi cellco Mobily has been banned from selling pre-paid SIM cards, Reuters reports. The Communication and Information Technology Commission (CITC) imposed the ban after earlier warning operators that from 28 September all pre-paid subscribers must enter a personal identification number (PIN) when topping up, and that the number must be the same as the one that was registered with their network provider at the time the SIM was bought. A spokesman for Mobily said: ‘This isn’t just about Mobily – other operators [STC and Zain Saudi] also haven’t complied – so we’re astonished we’ve been singled out. We’ve done a huge campaign to inform customers about the ID requirement.’

Meanwhile, in separate but related news Mobily has announced the launch of an LTE data roaming service. Mobily CEO Khalid Bin Omar Al Kaf said that the company has signed a roaming agreement with Hong Kong’s CSL Mobility. Mobily launched its own LTE service in September 2011, and today the 4G network covers more than 33 cities and approximately 85% of the population.

Saudi Arabia, Mobily (Etihad Etisalat)