CITC imposes ownership limits on pre-paid SIMs

28 Apr 2017

Saudi Arabia’s telecoms regulator the Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) has imposed limits on the ownership of prepaid SIM cards in the country, Bloomberg writes. According to two people familiar with the matter, foreign residents (who make up more than a third of the population) are now reportedly limited to two pre-paid SIM cards across all cellcos, while Saudis are restricted to as many as ten pre-paid SIM cards. The CITC was cited as saying: ‘This is considered a temporary procedure to correct and remedy the large number of illegal SIM cards in the market.’

As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in September 2015 all mobile subscribers had to submit their fingerprints in order to retain their SIM cards. The CITC said the fingerprint registration was meant to protect personal information of SIM cardholders and prevent buyers from obtaining mobile phones using fake or stolen identification cards. The regulator started disconnecting unregistered mobile subscribers in July 2016.