KSA’s CITC unveils free local roaming service

Saudi Arabia’s Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) launched on Sunday “The Local Roaming” initiative with the Kingdom’s leading telco firms to maximize services within all regions, specifically in remote villages and desert areas.

Zain’s statement revealed that the primal phase of The National Mobile Inter-Network Roaming initiative will be launched in the Asir area to provide users with access to any available network.

The initiative will fill in any coverage cap on the central networks and will be completed along the remainder of the Kingdom’s areas by the end of 2021. The network is expected to cover approximately 21,000 villages and settlements spreading over 147 governorates, including desert zones, and will serve more than 5 million users.

The local roaming service launch ceremony was held in the Kingdom’s capital, Riyadh, with CITC Governor Dr. Mohamad Bin Saud Al-Tamimi, alongside the CEOs and chairmen of the boards of directors of STC, Zain, and Mobily.

“The local roaming service aims to enable service providers to benefit from the telecommunications networks of other and also to help them meet the requirements of the beneficiaries through it, as it supports the empowerment of digital transformation in the villages of the Kingdom,” the CITIC governor stated during the ceremony.

Saad bin Abdulrahman Al-Sadhan, CEO of Business, Carriers, and Operations at Saudi Arabia’s Zain, highlighted that the telco’s partnership with the CITC will augment the Kingdom’s efforts in providing Zain’s user base with the necessary means to enable KSA’s digital transformation while delivering telecommunications and internet service throughout the Kingdom.

“Undoubtedly, the launch of the local roaming service will contribute to establishing a balanced strategy that achieves digital transformation in a more comprehensive manner in terms of delivering the service to all residents and visitors wherever they are on the territory of the Kingdom, as well as improving the user experience and giving him several options at competitive prices,” Al-Sadhan said in a statement.

KSA’s Local Roaming Service initiative will cover all telco services, including voice and Internet services, as well as short text messages (SMS). In parallel, users will not be charged any additional costs since services will be charged on the main operators.