Middle-East Regulators Discuss Curbs on Mobile Roaming Costs
Published on: 18th Feb 2014
By: Ian Mansfield
The telecoms regulators from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries have held their ninth meeting to discuss reforms of mobile roaming rates between their nations.
Gulf Cooperation Council is made up of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
In February 2012, regulations were implemented by the telecommunications regulators of the GCC which established maximum prices for outgoing calls while roaming within the GCC.
This led to price reductions of up to 70%.
Now that this regulation has been established and operating for a number of years, the Mobile Roaming Working Group is considering whether the regulations should be extended to cover other roaming services within the GCC such as incoming voice calls, SMS and mobile data.
During this meeting, a range of significant topics relating to mobile roaming services was discussed, and work continued on developing a consultation paper that assesses the potential regional impact of expanding the scope of the existing regulations of intra-GCC mobile roaming services. The meeting also discussed the impact of the current roaming regulations.
H.E. Mohamed Nasser Al Ghanim, Director General of the TRA commented: "This project is very timely. We have recently seen significant growth in the number of Smartphone users in the GCC. This means that consumers now have the ability to easily access the Internet while abroad. However, many consumers perceive the cost of accessing the Internet access while roaming to be very high. This is an issue that needs to carefully considered,"
This meeting represents a continuation of a series of previous meetings which have taken place in Oman, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.