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Mon 4 Apr 2016 01:58 PM

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UAE's du, Etisalat cut GCC roaming charges by 42%

UAE's telecoms regulator announces average price cuts for intra-GCC call and text message tariffs

UAE's du, Etisalat cut GCC roaming charges by 42%

The UAE's telecoms regulator on Monday said it has instructed operators Etisalat and du to slash roaming charged by an average of 42 percent.

The General Authority for Regulating the Telecommunication Sector (TRA) announced the implementation of the new price caps for intra-GCC roaming services by UAE's mobile operators.

On average, the international roaming prices for UAE customers who travel to GCC countries fell by an average of 42 percent starting on April 1, the TRA said in a statement.

Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, the UAE TRA's Director General stated: "The implementation of the price caps by all mobile operators in the GCC will represent a great achievement for GCC countries to be among the pioneers in implementing such regulations.

"The TRA strives to achieve the satisfaction and happiness of the customers and the TRA is making unremitting efforts to raise the quality of the services provided by the telecommunications sector to better serve the UAE's customers and to ensure that they have access to quality services at competitive prices."

The move follows an announcement last June, when GCC members Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates announced the GCC would steadily reduce charges.

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

The cuts are part of plans for greater economic integration among GCC states, the statement said, predicting they would enable users to save $1.14 billion. It did not specify over what timeframe.

Some Gulf telecom companies have operations in other GCC countries. Saudi Telecom Co controls operators in Kuwait and Bahrain, Kuwait's Zain is also present in Bahrain and Saudi and Qatar's Ooredoo has units in Kuwait and Oman.

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