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Saudi Arabia (KSA) - Premium SMS, Short Code Requirements

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The regulations in Saudi Arabia caters and covers all of the Mobile Payment types, that includes Premium SMS BillingStandard Rate ServicesShort Codes, WAP Billing and Operator Billing.


Regulator

CITClogo.jpg

Communications and Information Technology Commission, CITC (Arabic: هيئة الاتصالات و تقنية المعلومات‎, Hai'at al-Itisalat wa Taqniat al-Ma`lumat) is the Saudi communications authority. It was first established under the name of Saudi Communications Commission in accordance with the decision of the Council of Ministers. The name was changed after the Commission was assigned new tasks related to information technology. Since October 2006, CITC has been handling the DNS structure and filtering in Saudi Arabia in the place of KACST (King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology).


The Communications and Information Technology Commission was established under the name of Saudi Communications Commission pursuant 
to the Council of Ministers Decision No. 74, dated 5/3/1422H. The name was changed after the Commission was entrusted with new tasks related to 
information technology, under the Council of Ministers Decision No. 123, dated 21/5/1424H. The vision statement of the Commission is "Universally available, high quality and affordable communications and information technology services".

More information regarding CITC can be viewed at www.citc.gov.sa

[source]

TRA Bahrain signs a Memorandum of Understanding with Saudi Arabia's Communication and Information Technology CommissionManama, 28 May 2007 – The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Bahrain (TRA) and the Communication and Information Technology Commission (CITC) of Saudi Arabia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for co-operation in regulatory issues related to the telecommunications sector. 

The MoU was signed by TRA's General Director, Mr. Alan Horne, and the Governor of CITC, Dr. Mohammed Al Sowail, during the Forth Annual Arab Regulators’ Network Meeting hosted by TRA Bahrain last week. 
The Memorandum aims to develop cooperation in issues of concern to the two regulators, such as tariff mechanisms, numbering, quality of service, interconnection, dispute resolution between operators, number portability and consumer protection.

The General Director of TRA, Mr. Alan Horne, commented as follows on the singing of the MoU: "This Memorandum is a step forwards for the two regulators towards establishing greater cooperation on common issues and 
benefiting from the mutual exchange of experience. This MoU enhances our already fruitful cooperation and aims to strengthen the regional telecommunications sector for the benefit of our consumers."

Notes to Editors:

About TRA
The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) was established by Legislative Decree No. 48 of 2002 promulgating the Telecommunications Law. 
TRA is an independent body and its duties and powers include, among other things, protecting the interests of subscribers and users and promoting 
effective and fair competition among existing and new licensed operators. More information regarding TRA can be viewed at www.tra.org.bh

 

 

Carriers

Our_Clients_Mobily_Logo.jpg Mobily

Mobily (Arabic: موبايلي‎) is the trade name of Saudi Arabia's second Telecommunications company, Etihad-Etisalat consortium (Arabic: اتحاد اتصالات‎). The company, as the winning bidder for Saudi Arabia's second GSM licence, provides mobile telecom services nationwide, breakingSaudi Telecom's monopoly in the wireless business. The company launched 3.5G services on the 27th of June 2006 and 4G services on September 13, 2011.

[source]

Zain

Zain Saudi Arabia is the third mobile network operating company in Saudi Arabia, operating GSM technology. It launched on 26 August 2008 and it enrolled more than 2 million subscribers within 4 months of its launch. The company paid $6.1 billion dollars for its license to operate in Saudi Arabia for 25 years. The company has been listed on Tadawul, the Saudi Stock Exchange since March 22, 2008.

[source]

stc-logo.jpg STC 

Saudi Telecom Group, STC (Arabic: مجموعة الاتصالات السعودية‎) is a Saudi Arabia-based telecommunications company that offers landline,mobile and Internet services. The Saudi Telecommunication Group provides integrated mobile, fixed and broadband communications services to over 142 million subscribers in 10 markets including Saudi Arabia.

[source]

 

Market Statistics

Summary

The Saudi Arabian telecoms market is perhaps the most interesting in the Middle East. It is more competitive than most others and all the big regional players have at least a toehold in the market. Saudi Arabian incumbent STC is the largest telecoms company in the Middle East when measured by either revenue or by market capitalisation. It has been joined in the Saudi Arabian mobile market by the second and third largest Middle Eastern regional players – Etisalat of the UAE and Zain of Kuwait. Etisalat has considerably more than a toehold in the market. It won the second GSM/3G mobile licence and, operating as Mobily, now has over one-third of the GSM market and three-quarters of the 3G market. It has also bought Bayanat Al Oula, a major ISP/data comms licence holder, and has invested in considerable fibre and WiMAX infrastructure. 

[source]

 

Geography
Area: Total: 2,149,690 sq km Land: 2,149,690 sq km Water: 0 sq km
Cities: RIYADH (capital) 4.725 million; Jeddah 3.234 million; Mecca 1.484 million; Medina 1.104 million; Ad Dammam 902,000 (2009)
Terrain: mostly uninhabited, sandy desert
Climate: harsh, dry desert with great temperature extremes

 

People
Nationality: Noun: Saudi(s) Adjective: Saudi or Saudi Arabian
Population: 26,131,703 (July 2011 est.)
Annual population growth rate: 1.536% (2011 est.)
Language: Arabic (official)
Flag: SA_flag.jpg


Government
Type: monarchy
Independence: 23 September 1932 
Constitution: governed according to Islamic law; the Basic Law that articulates the government's rights and responsibilities was promulgated by royal decree in 1992
Branches: chief of state and head of government: King and Prime Minister ABDALLAH bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud; Heir Apparent Crown Prince; cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the monarch every four years and includes many royal family members
Political parties: none
Suffrage: 21 years of age; male

Economy
Nominal GDP: $622 billion (2010 est.)
GDP per capita: $24,200 (2010 est.)
Annual GDP growth rate: 3.7% (2010 est.)
Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, gold, copper
Agriculture: wheat, barley, tomatoes, melons, dates, citrus; mutton, chickens, eggs, milk
Industry: crude oil production, petroleum refining, basic petrochemicals, ammonia, industrial gases, sodium hydroxide (caustic soda), cement, fertilizer, plastics, metals, commercial ship repair, commercial aircraft repair, construction
Trade: Export - Japan 14.3%, China 13.1%, US 13%, South Korea 8.8%, India 8.3%, Singapore 4.5% (2010) Import - US 12.4%, China 11.1%, Germany 7.1%, Japan 6.9%, France 6.1%, India 4.7%, South Korea 4.2% (2010)

[source]

 

Market Growth

General region↓ Total number of Internet users (thousands)↓ Internet Users per 100 inhab.↓ Total population (thousands)↓ GDP per capita↓ GDP total (thousands)↓ Mobile subscibers per 100 inhab.↓ Total number of mobile subscribers (thousands)↓
Middle East 25732 38.6 25,391 $25,345 $676223000 176.7 39,500
[source] [source] [source] [source] [source] [source] [source] [source]

 

Currency

The Riyal (Arabic: ريال, ISO 4217 code: SAR) is the currency of Saudi Arabia. It is abbreviated as ر.س or SR (Saudi Riyal). It is subdivided into 100 Halalas (Arabic: هللة). The Saudi Ghirsh is 5 Halalas.

The denominations of the Saudi currency are as follows:

Bills: 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 Riyals.Coins: 5, 10, 25, 50, and 100 Halalahs."1 Riyal equal 100 Halalas"

In June 1986, the riyal was officially pegged to the IMF's Special Drawing Rights (SDRs). In practice, it is fixed at 1 U.S. dollar = 3.75 riyals, which translates to approximately 1 riyal = 0.266667 dollar. This rate was made official on January 1, 2003.

10 SAR in £GBP

10 SAR in $USD

10 SAR in €EUR

 

Approval Process

As part of the application process for a short code, you will need to complete a txtNation Customer Care Form (CCF). Your draft promotions should be submitted to txtNation in Arabic for approval before being put in a public place. 

 

Promotional Guidelines

There are currently no formal documents available regarding the regulations surrounding running in Saudi Arabia, however it is standard practice and there could be penalties if you don't include:

- Price displayed in local format, e.g. x.xx ريال + standard network rates", e.g "Text ABC to 12345. Cost: 8.85 ريال + standard network rates.

- Price immediately following the shortcode / keywords.

- Price in at least 50% font size of the shortcode / keywords.

- Service promoted by {insert your address, p.o. box numbers not allowed}.

- "This is not a subscription service" or

- If it is a subscription service > "Cost: X.XX ريال / {frequency} + standard network rates. E.g. "Cost ريال 12.00 / Week", or "Cost 12.00 ريال / Month & how to opt out of the service".

- "Need help? {Insert email address}."

- MT Standard format : Thank you ! You have purchased <item name> from <content provider> for <price in Saudi Riyal> SAR.
For Help, please send email to <support Email>

- MT Standard format in Arabic: مبروك لقد حصلت علي (اسم المنتج) من (مقدم المحتوي) مقابل(السعر بالريال ) في حال وجود اي استفسار او شكوي الرجاء ارسال ايميل علي (عنوان ايميل الدعم )ا

In Saudi Arabia, the operators or the regulator the CITC do not publish terms and conditions however these must be produced in the local language. In general, any content or services related to Horoscopes, Tarot, etc or any services related to adult, pornographic, or politics and religion is not allowed at all.

Trivia services, sweepstakes, or any luck game are not allowed without prior approval.

A full breakdown of how many prizes, the nature of the prizes, sample of the questions, how the winner will be chosen, how the winners will receive the prizes, and how it will be promoted will be requested. So that we can help you case by case to modify the service in a way to allow us to get the approval from the operators when we present the activation request.

 

Message Flow Requirements

There are currently no written regulations at the time of writing for Saudi  Arabia. Your CCF will be evaluated to ensure your service is delivering value for money and is honest and fair.

 

Service Types

There are currently no written regulations at the time of writing for Saudi Arabia. Your CCF will be evaluated to ensure your service is delivering value for money and is honest and fair.

 

Billing Types

We operate both MO and MT billed lines in Saudi Arabia (KSA) however MT billing requires a dedicated code. See forum entry "What are the SMS billing types available?" for more information on these billing types.

 

Shortcodes and Keywords

On our dedicated code in Saudi Arabia, we operate on a 6 and 5 digit shortcode for each carrier. Adult content is not available.

 

Frequency and Amounts

For Mobile Originating (MO) billing there’s no limits for spending. However, for Mobile Terminated (MT) billing offered either monthly billing at SR 12/SMS once a month, or SR 5 per week, with a maximum of 20 SR per month. Your CCF will still be evaluated to ensure your service is delivering value for money and is honest and fair.

With MT lines Maximum billing per month will be either

  • one time monthly for SR 12
  • Or 4 times per months (1 time weekly for SR 5/week) maximum of SR 20/month

Please ask your account manager for a rate card of the available tariffs in KSA.

 

Tax

The current Saudi Arabia rate of tax is available via Wikipedia. The out-payments on our rate cards are exclusive of VAT, so if you are VAT registered you can claim a higher outpayment than is shown.

 

Dedicated Codes 

Dedicated codes are available with a 2 to 3 month lead time depending on carrier availability, the carriers approve based on the price point and service type. You can read more about Short Code Coverage, SMS Billing Services and Mobile Payments in Saudi Arabia via the txtNation Gateway.

 

Saudi Arabia has the following Mobile Payment options available, all of which fall under these regulations:

  • Premium SMS (P-SMS) including Short Code services
  • Operator Billing (Direct-to-bill)
  • WAP Billing
  • MSISDN Pass-through

Additional options for Mobile Payments and Messaging in Saudi Arabia include:

  • HLR Lookup
  • Bulk SMS

Note: This page is updated as frequently as possible when we are informed from the regulators or mobile operators in Saudi Arabia of a change or update in regulations. There may be a latest version of Premium SMS, Mobile Payments or Short Code Regulations in Saudi Arabia. Please contact your account manager for more information.

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