The Saudi Telecom Company announced yesterday that effective tomorrow, December 5, it was reducing by 29 percent (from SR1.2 to 85 halalas per minute) SAWA to SAWA local call charges, and by 16.5 percent (from SR1.2 to SR1.00) charges for local calls outside the network, including land phones and the Etisalat network. The company is also halving the installation and reinstallation fees for ordinary and family cell phones, and reducing SMS rates from 50 to 25 halalas for local and from 70 to 60 halalas for international. There are nine million cell phone subscribers in the Kingdom.
New SAWA recharge cards are being issued, in SR50 and SR300 denominations. The latter will have a validity of 12 months, and will include 11 percent of the call units at no charge. STC has already cut domestic telephone calls from 40 to 10 halalas per minute, and reduced Internet service charges through the offer of two new packages. An announcement is expected soon about discounts for international calls.
Meanwhile, Saudi Telecom posted a net income of SR7.67 billion [U.S $ 2.05 billion] for the nine months ending September 30, 2004 compared to SR6.54 billion [$1.74 billion] for the same period last year.