Qatar CRA sets out roaming rate reductions
Reductions for voice, SMS and data rates announced for Qatar
Qatar's Communication Regulatory Authority (CRA) has announced plans to reduce roaming rates, following the decision by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Ministerial Committee for Post, Telecommunications and Information Technology to cut roaming tariffs within the GCC.
Reductions to roaming charges for voice calls, SMS, and mobile data services will become mandatory from 1st April 1, 2016. This will be followed by reductions for voice and SMS rates through to 2018, and reductions roaming data charges to April 2020.
The CRA will set the maximum rate that can be charged for each type of service, although service providers are free to set prices below these regulatory caps.
The reduction in roaming charges is a continuation of the collaboration and cooperation between the GCC regulators, under the auspices of the GCC General Secretariat. The first roaming regulation was issued in June 2010 and took full effect in February 2012. It covered roaming voice calls but excluded other roaming services such as mobile data and SMS. The new regulation, a result of comprehensive study and public consultation by the GCC Roaming Working Group, addresses this gap.
"We are committed to promoting market competition, and bringing additional benefits to consumers," said Mohammed Ali Al-Mannai, President of the CRA. "This initiative is in line with CRA's mandate to boost affordable state-of-the-art and innovative technology and telecommunications services in Qatar," he added.