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No need to enter iqama number to recharge pre-paid mobile phones

Saudi Arabia, November 16, 2017

Now there is no need to enter one’s iqama (residence card) number to recharge balance in a pre-paid mobile phone.

The Communication and Information Technology Commission (CITC) issued directives to all mobile telecommunication service providers to end this practice starting Wednesday.

In July 2012, the CITC linked the charging, recharging or transferring of the balance of mobile phones via prepaid cards to the user’s iqama number.

The objective was to deactivate illegally obtained prepaid SIM cards.

However, from Jan. 1 consumers will have to pay more on phone bills, Internet data packs and paid apps as the impending Value Added Tax (VAT) will be applicable on utility bills.

Telecom services such as mobile phone, fixed line, data and payable digital services fall under the tax ambit and will be subject to VAT at the standard rate.

After the implementation of VAT, effective airtime which is also known as talk-time or mobile credit for prepaid customers will be reduced. For instance airtime on a SR100 prepaid voucher will marginally dip to SR95 after the deduction of SR5 as VAT.

For post-paid users, VAT is likely to be added to bills.

saudigazette