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GCC countries to slash roaming fees from next year

GCC countries to slash roaming fees from next year

Cuts in charges for calls and text messages would be introduced from April 1, 2016, and would take place over three years, while data charges would be trimmed from the same date but over a five-year period.



By (Reuters)

Published: Thu 11 Jun 2015, 1:57 AM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 3:08 PM

Dubai - Telecom roaming charges will be slashed across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations with effect from April 1, 2016, a ministerial committee has announced.

The governments of six-nation bloc have agreed to gradually reduce roaming charges when making calls, sending text messages and using data within the respective countries, according to a statement carried by state media.

Cuts in charges for calls and text messages would be introduced from April 1, 2016, and would take place over three years, while data charges would be trimmed from the same date but over a five-year period.

 However, the statement did not disclose new rates or by how much the charges would be reduced.

The decision was announced following the GCC Ministerial Committee for Post, Telecommunications and Information Technology meeting in Doha, and was aimed at promoting tourism in the region, according to WAM.

A number of telecom firms operate across multiple GCC geographies. Saudi Telecom, the region’s largest firm by market value, has stakes in businesses in Bahrain and Kuwait, with Kuwait’s Zain also operating across the same three countries. Qatar’s Ooredoo has operations in Kuwait and Oman.

The GCC consists of Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. 


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