Saudi's Mobily says SIM sales ban lifted

Affiliate of UAE telco Etisalat says regulator has relaxed suspension on pay as you go sales

(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

Saudi Arabia's number two telecom operator Etihad Etisalat Co (Mobily) said on Saturday it has resumed prepaid SIM sales to new subscribers after regulators relaxed a ban imposed last Sunday.

Mobily, the Saudi Arabian affiliate of UAE telco Etisalat, said in a statement to the Saudi bourse that the sales suspension imposed by the Communication and Information Technology Commission (CITC) ended on Wednesday night.

The statement said that Mobily had "fulfilled all regulations related to providing prepaid mobile calling services, including the linkage of recharge with customers identification numbers".

On Sunday, Saudi Arabia's industry regulator suspended Mobily's sales of new pre-paid, or pay-as-you-go, SIM cards until it met recently imposed rules on SIM registration.

Etisalat said on Tuesday it was committed to its Saudi Arabian affiliate, adding that it wanted to up its stake in Mobily if given the chance.

Etisalat owns a 28 percent stake in Mobily and has previously talked of increasing its holding.

Mobily said the ban would have little impact on earnings.

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