CRA: Qatari Service Providers Implement 3rd Phase of GCC Reduced Roaming Charges

Sunday, April 22, 2018

 The Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA) has coordinated the implementation of the third phase of the regulation on reducing the price caps for roaming charges within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, which has been implemented as of April 1, 2018.

The implementation of this regulation within the GCC started on April 1, 2016. The regulation covers different services that consumers need while travelling outside the country like receiving and making voice calls, sending SMS messages and using mobile data throughout the GCC countries. This year the most significant decrease for consumers is the price cap for data roaming charges which have been reduced by 29.4% across the GCC and will further reduce in April each year until 2020.

In comparison to the last year’s price caps, this year has seen a reduction in the charges of receiving voice calls while in roaming by 21.4% (from 1.019 QAR/min to 0.801 QAR/min), making local voice calls within the visited country by 3.9% (from 0.910 QAR/min to 0.874 QAR/min), and making voice calls to other GCC countries (including home country) by 3.2% (from 2.257 QAR/min to 2.184 QAR/min).

The roaming charges reduction also covered mobile data which has been reduced by 29.4% (from 3.094 QAR/Mbyte to 2.184 QAR/Mbyte), and sending SMS reduced by 14.5% (from 0.255 QAR/SMS to 0.218 QAR/SMS). Receiving SMS messages remains free.

It is worth mentioning that the prices caps are ceilings and the service providers are free to compete by setting prices below these regulatory caps to provide more attractive offers to the consumers.