CITC fines three Saudi operators $10m

12 April 2019 | Natalie Bannerman

Cover

Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC), Saudi Arabia’s telecoms regulator has fined its top three operators close to $10 million (38 million Riyals) for violating regulations.

Saudi Telecom Company (STC) was fined £2.3 million (9 million Riyals), Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) $4.5 million (17 million Riyals) while Saudi Mobile Telecommunications Company (Zain) amassed close to £2.9 million (11) million Riyals.

The fees were levied for a number of reason. In the case of STC, CITC said that it had violated the committee’s decision not to implement a credit limit policy, inadequate handling of complaints, the improper selling ‘prepaid contact lines’ and licensing violations.

As for Mobily it was a similar story. CITC stated that its fines were in relation to handling of complaints, not providing information to the regulator in a set time and the improper selling ‘prepaid contact lines’.

In Zain’s case, its fines were because it announced “a promotional offer without obtaining the approval of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA)”, inadequate handling of complaints, not providing information to the regulator in a set time and the improper selling ‘prepaid contact lines’.

The TRA says that it will continue to follow-up with the three companies to ensure that they are complying with the necessary regulations and to “guarantee the rights of users”.

At the start of the year, STC and Zain were awarded spectrum licences by CITC in the 2,300MHZ and 2,600MHz band.

STC confirmed won the auction in the 2,300MHz frequency band, receiving a 15-year licence starting from January 1 2020 to December 31 2034. While Zain won a licence for the 2,600MHz band, which it will use to expand its 4G+ services adding to its existing 800, 900, 1,800, 2,100 and 2,600MHz band.