x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Mobile roaming charges in the Gulf to fall 30 per cent

Region's telecom ministers agree to reduce the rates from early July.

Mobile phone charges for travellers within the Gulf region will be slashed by 30 per cent from early July following an agreement of regional telecoms ministers.

Lower mobile roaming charges will be implemented in the first week of July, an official of the UAE’s regulator confirmed today.

The decision applies to voice calls only, but further talks on reducing the cost of messaging and data services are expected to be held in the future.

The decision to lower charges was made at a meeting of ministers from across the region held at the Emirates Palace hotel in Abu Dhabi.

It follows a previous 30 per cent reduction in roaming rates implemented in September last year.

Matthew Reed, an analyst based in Dubai with Informa Telecoms & Media, said that roaming charges in the GCC countries are currently higher than in other markets.

“They are still relatively high in this region,” he said. “It might put people off using the services”.