RIYADH, 24rd March, 2016 (WAM) – GCC member states have decided to apply reduced roaming rates for voice calls, outgoing SMS, and mobile data services as of 1st of April 2016, a senior GCC official has announced.

”An average 40 percent cut will be in effect in the first phase of new reduction rates. Incoming SMS application will remain free,” Abdullah bin Juma Al Shibli, Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Affairs of the Secretariat of the GCC, said, noting that mobile phone users in the GCC member states could save up to US$1.13 billion, boosting social welfare by $404 million.

”A GCC technical team will monitor these prices regularly and submit recommendations to the GCC Ministerial Committee Ministerial Committee for Post, Telecommunications and Information Technology. A mechanism has been set up to gather data on a regular basis to update decision-makers on changes taking place in the roaming services market and ensure efficient control,” he added.