Saudi Arabia continues to have mid-level pricing in the Gulf region for a basket of Information Communication Technology (ICT) costs, which includes services and call prices for mobile phones and landlines.
Qatar has the highest ICT costs in the Gulf, according to the annual survey "Measuring the Information Society" released on Monday by the Geneva-based International Telecommunication Union.
According to the study, the cost of a one minute local call is $0.08 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), in Bahrain $0.12, Oman $0.14, and Saudi Arabia and Qatar $0.15. During off-peak hours and on the weekend, costs fall to $0.09 in Bahrain and $0.10 in Oman. Prices do not change in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE.
The price of a local text message is $0.03 in Oman, $0.05 in the UAE, Saudi Arabia $0.07, Bahrain $0.09 and $0.11 in Qatar.
The price of each minute from a mobile to a landline is $0.08 in the UAE, $0.12 in Bahrain, $0.14 in Oman and $0.15 in Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
Landlines are declining in the homes of the new generation. The monthly cost stands at $3.90 in Bahrain, $4.08 in the UAE, $9.07 in Qatar, $12 in Saudi Arabia, and $12.73 in Oman.
The UAE and Qatar offer the first landline minute free, with Qatar deducting it from the monthly subscription. Saudi Arabia charges $0.04 for the first three minutes, while Bahrain charges $0.06 and Oman $0.12. The price of the first three minutes drops to $0.08 in Oman outside working hours, the weekend and official holidays. However, prices stay the same in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.
The monthly subscription for a broadband landline is $25.97 in Oman, $26.60 in Bahrain, $39.73 in Saudi Arabia, $40.57 in the UAE and $54.95 in Qatar. The monthly subscription in Saudi Arabia includes 10 gigabytes.
The survey provides the most comprehensive statistics for telecommunication and information technology use around the world. It is used as a reference by United Nations agencies, industry and nongovernment organizations.
The report provides an index for countries showing the most progress in ICT development, and costs for services in more than 160 countries.
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