|TRA Oman Announces Reduction in GCC Roaming Prices|
The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) announces the complete implementation of regulatory price caps on the international roaming call charges in the GCC countries. The Authority would also like to acknowledge the kind support of Ministry of Transport and Communication and the cooperation of operators were instrumental in implementing the price caps.
“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.” H.E. Dr. Hamed bin Slaim Al Rawahi, the Chief Execuitve of TRA commented on this GCC achievement
The regulatory price caps come as the result of the coordinated efforts of the International Roaming Working Group, which consists of specialists from the telecommunications regulators in the GCC countries under the umbrella of the GCC General Secretariat in Riyadh – KSA.
The Recommendations of the working group was approved by the GCC Telecommunications Ministerial Committee on the 8th of June 2010 in Kuwait.
The price caps set a ceiling on the international roaming prices were implemented over a two years period. The caps apply to roaming calls within the visited country and to the home country or other GCC countries.
Phase I of this regulation was implemented in 2010, where the price caps were set at 138bz/min within the visited country and 344bz/min for calls to any GCC country. These caps constituted reductions in roaming charges up to 71% and 45% from the prices that were in place before the implementation for calls within the visited country and calls to any GCC countries respectively.
Phase II of this regulation was implemented by September 2011, with the exception of some delays in implementation with some GCC mobile operators. These anomalies are now all resolved and thus implementation is complete.
Phase II reduced the caps to 106 bz/min, and 255 bz/min for calls in the visited country and calls to any GCC country respectively. These caps constitute further reduction up to 78% and 59%, of the original prices before 2010.
It is worth mentioning that these rates are ceilings and operators are free to compete by setting prices below the regulatory caps and provide more attractive prices to the consumers.