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GCC to cut mobile phone roaming rates by 40 per cent

Roaming rates for mobile phone users travelling through GCC countries will be cut by 40 per cent from April 1.

The announcement was made by the Gulf Cooperation Council’s Secretariat General on its official Twitter account on Thursday, and will affect roaming charges for calls, data tariffs, and text messages within the six-nation bloc.

Phone regulators from across the GCC met in September 2013 to discuss reducing tariffs customers are charged for using their phones overseas.

The talks were to ensure that all service providers were charging approximately the same rates for the same services.

Last June, members states said they would steadily reduce charges from April but did not specify by how much.

At that time, the bloc said tariffs would be steadily reduced over three years and data charges over five years.

Thursday’s statement, which quoted Abdullah bin Jumaa Al Shebli, GCC assistant secretary general for economic affairs, said the cuts are part of plans for greater economic integration among GCC states, and predicted users could save US$1.14 billion (Dh4.1bn) this year.

The GCC will be monitoring prices on a periodic basis, he said.

Courtesy: The National

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