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Batelco introduces free incoming roaming

World Freedom service will allow roaming customers to receive calls free of charge in 21 countries

Batelco launched a new service today to provide free incoming calls for its mobile customers that have international roaming.

The Batelco World Freedom service covers 21 countries, and will mean that Batelco customers who are visiting those countries will not pay to receive incoming calls.

Currently Batelco subscribers are charged Batelco standard IDD rates from Bahrain to the country where they receive the calls and may have additional charges on top from the host operator.

Batelco Chief Executive Officer Peter Kaliaropoulos commented: “Batelco is the first company in the world to provide free incoming calls from anywhere in the world in 21 countries. This is great news for our prepaid and postpaid customers, who travel to the countries covered by the new service.”

The World Freedom service is available from today, and applies in Albania, Algeria, Armenia, Bosnia, Croatia, Estonia, Georgia, Ghana, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Luxembourg, Moldova, Mozambique, Nigeria, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Sudan.

Batelco said that it expects other operators in the region to sign up to the program.

The GSMA, the global industry association of mobile operators, has called for more competitiveness to reduce the cost of international calls, while the European Union is also trying to introduce rate caps to control the expense of roaming services.

“Batelco supports the GSMA initiatives to deliver better roaming rates to customers across the MENA markets. Commercial negotiations between operators will deliver significant value to customers without the need for unilateral and interventionist regulatory involvement, which does not take into account the size of various markets,” Kaliaropoulos said.

“The introduction of the new Batelco World Freedom is in line with the Company’s long-term policy of keeping all its mobile customers in touch while they travel around the world at the most affordable prices,” he added.

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