The Kingdom's three telecom companies have said they are ready to implement a new regulation by the Communication and Information Technology Commission (CITC) on SIM cards beginning July 31.
"Mobily has fully completed all preparations and is ready to comply with all CITC guidelines, including the new regulation on SIM cards," Humoud Al-Ghobaini, head of corporate communications at Mobily told Arab News.
He added that he believes that the move would be beneficial for the Kingdom and its telecom companies in providing added security.
"Under the new guidelines each SIM card will be traceable and accounted for through its user's identification, which will be a step forward in reducing harassment by phone pranksters and other negative activities," Al-Ghobaini said.
The new system requires consumers to enter their national identification or Iqama number immediately following the prepaid card number to recharge SIM cards. The ID entered must match the ID provided to the service provider at the time of the original SIM card purchase or charging, recharging or the transferring of balances will be prohibited.
In addition, Zain Saudi Arabia has said it is working to advise its customers of the new CITC requirements. "We have already begun sending out SMS messages to our customers letting them know of the new regulation that is to begin at the end of next month. Those who are using an unregistered SIM card are expected to register it at one of our offices as soon as possible, said Abdullah Al-Damer, corporate communications manager of Zain Saudi Arabia.
Nawaf Al Shalani, general manager of corporate communications at STC said that he welcomes the move to safeguard the Kingdom's telecom industry.
"The decision taken by the CITC will end much of the corruption being carried out within the telecom industry and provide more transparency and regulation to the market," Al-Shalani said.
He said by advising consumers not to purchase SIM cards from anyone besides the three authorized telecom companies and stated that the CITC has warned that buying such cards could end in a legal violation.