Mobile operators go head-to-head in Kingdom

The Saudi mobile phone market is heating up. While STC is trying to lure Mobily’s customers with the promise of better service, Mobily is trying to attract STC’s customers by allowing them to keep their STC mobile numbers when using Mobily.

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By  Chris Fernando Published  June 7, 2005

The Saudi mobile phone market is heating up. While STC is trying to lure Mobily’s customers with the promise of better service, Mobily is trying to attract STC’s customers by allowing them to keep their STC mobile numbers when using Mobily. In May this year, the second GSM operator - Etihad Etisalat’s Mobily - started operating in Saudi Arabia. But unlike STC, Mobily offered pre-activated MMS to its subscribers, with each MMS costing 60 halalas per 50 kilobytes, and a maximum message size of 400 kilobytes. STC is now fighting back by sprucing up its mobile and internet services and announcing a number of new services earlier this month, to try and lure customers away from the new kid on the mobile block. STC has reduced the service charges for mobile installation, and cancelled international roaming and account upgrade charges. The company has also reduced tariffs for local and international calls, while initiating a free location identification service. An MMS service has also been introduced by STC, which allows subscribers to send videos and photos at no additional cost. Now that STC has decided to better its communication systems, Mobily has announced that STC customers wanting to switch to Mobily can do so, without having to give up their existing STC phone number. Mobily has made this move to attract STC’s customers who don’t want to give up their numbers, but are happy to switch to Mobily. The last seven digits of the STC and the Mobily number will be the same, the only difference being that instead of a 050 or 055 at the beginning, as with STC’s numbers, there will be 056.

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