The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) announced that roaming users in the GCC countries will now enjoy further reductions in roaming prices for voice calls, mobile data and, SMS services. This is in line with the initiative of the GCC regulators - under the umbrella of the GCC General Secretariat - to regulate the prices of roaming services within the Gulf countries. The new price caps are effective starting from the 1st of April 2017.

This reduction comes as part of the previous initiatives towards facilitating the availability of roaming services for GCC nationals and residents within reasonable and affordable price levels, in view of the expected positive impact on enhancing social ties and economic integration between the GCC counties.

The first roaming regulation issued in 2010 covered only voice calls made while roaming and was implemented gradually over a two-year period, with full implementation in February 2012.

The second roaming regulation which started in the month of April last year with price caps for the reduction of roaming charges on both inter-operator wholesale level and end user retail level is taking place gradually over a period of three years for voice calls and SMS services, and over a five-year period for the mobile data service.

The table below illustrates the new retail price caps that will take effect starting from the current month of April 2017:

The prices shown above are ceilings that operators are free to compete within by setting prices below these regulatory caps to provide more attractive and innovative offers to consumers.