The Oman Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has announced the complete implementation of price caps on roaming rates within the GCC.
The regulatory price caps were a result of the efforts of the International Roaming Working Group which is made up of telecommunication regulators in GCC countries under the GCC General Secretariat in Riyadh – KSA.
Dr. Hamed bin Slaim Al Rawahi, CEO of the Oman TRA said: “Oman TRA has been closely working with its counterpart Regulatory Authorities in the Gulf and the licensed mobile operators in the Sultanate to ensure successful implementation of the price caps. The regulation is now successfully implemented and consumers who are travelling within the GCC may now enjoy the reduced roaming prices.”
The price caps, which apply for roaming calls within the visited country and the home country in the GCC network, were implemented over a two year period.
The first phase rolled out in 2010 with price caps set at 138 bz ($0.36)/min within the visited country and 344 bz ($0.89)/min for calls to any GCC country. These were reductions of up to 71% and 45% respectively, from the original prices. The second phase was implemented in September 2011 and saw rates drop further to 106 bz ($0.28)/min, and 255 bz ($0.66)/min for calls in the visited country and calls to any GCC country respectively.
The GCC Roaming Working Group is now looking into studying SMS, MMS and data roaming charges so that they can work towards developing an appropriate price cap regulation for these services.