Saudi Arabia Mobile Billing and Messaging Overview


Billing Type: MO&MT   MT billing requires a dedicated code.

Subscriptions: Yes   Dedicated code required.

Micropayments: Yes

Shared Price Points: 10 SAR, 12 SAR

0.75 SAR - MO Billed is possible but requires approval.

Dedicated Price Points: 10 SAR, 12 SAR

Standard rate Price Points: Not available

Regulator: Communications and Information Technology Commission, CITC

Approvals/Fees Required: Yes   Approval required.

Country Info

Population: 33,000,000

Subscribers: 45,831,550

Mobile Penetration Rate: 65.2%

Average Individual Income: $22,485.13

VAT Rate: N/A

Withholding Tax: N/A

Network Information:

Carriers: Subscribers: Market Share:
STC 19,914,000 44.13%
Mobily 15,060,000 39.14%
Zain 11,400,000 16.73%


Regulation Overview

Regulator: Communications and Information Technology Commission, CITC

Regulator Website:

Code of Conduct:

Opt-in Possibilities

Web (PIN) Opt-in: Yes*

WORAR (Requiring a Reply): Yes

Single MO Shortcode Opt-in: Yes

In-app Billing: Yes

Notes: *For Dedicated codes - Web opt in via PIN
- STC have implemented their own PIN flow, called V-Code.
- Mobily will be managing a PIN flow but this is not yet implemented.
- Zain have not yet implemented a PIN flow, so third party PIN flow is allowed.

Permitted Content

General Content Restrictions: Regarding Dedicated code Subscription services:

You will have two short codes, one MO 0 SR (free MO) short code and one short code on an MT billing basis at your desired price point (E.g. SR 12 per month, or SR 5/week).

1) The user will send a free MO to the free MO short code that you will promote in your marketing materials.
2) When this free MO is received by the Mobile network, they (the network) will send a billed MT message to the user. If they have credit, they will be billed. The mobile operator will then send a notification to you stating that this user has been billed.
3) At this point you may start sending them their Premium Content via MT messages through the txtNation gateway. (Note: The MT content messages are not billed; they are sent using either an alphanumeric sender ID route, or via the free short code).
4) When the period of the subscription is over, the mobile operator will send another billing request to the user. If this is successful, you will be notified as per step 2. If the user sends 'Stop', or 'Cancel', to the free MO short code, then the mobile operator will cease billing them and will send you a notification that he is no longer a subscriber.

Adult Permissible: No

Mobile Gambling /mCasino (Real money): No

Sportsbook (Real money): No

Virtual Gambling (Virtual credit): No

Lottery (Real money): No

Competitions: Yes   Must be skill based. No luck involved or random draw.

Voting: Yes

Chat: No

Mobile Content: Yes

Info Messages: Yes

Alerts: Yes

Physical Goods: No

Charitable Services: Yes

Spend Limits

Maximum Transactional Value: 12 SAR

Subscriptions Limit: 0.66 SAR per day
5 SAR per week;

Customer Care

Minimum Type Required: E-Mail (24hr Response)

Miscellaneous Items

Mandatory Keywords: STOP


Available Technologies

Premium MO SMS: Yes

Premium MT SMS: Yes

WAP Billing: Yes

Direct Operator Billing: Yes

MSISDN Forwarding: Yes   No hosted window. Zain – single opt-in, Mobily – Double opt-in required, Buttons: ‘Buy’, 'Pay' or ‘Subscribe’. STC – no MSISDN forwarding

IVR Billing: Yes

Number Lookup (HLR): Yes

Number Lookup (VLR) /(RTLU): Yes

VSIM/Longcode: Yes

Bulk SMS: Yes   No campaign referencing premium short codes or IVR

Push Messaging: Yes

USSD Messaging: No

USSD Menus (Sessions): No

Direct Carrier Billing

DCB Type: MSISDN Forwarding   WAP billing/ header enrichment.

Supported networks: STC, Zain

Not available via Mobily.

Bulk Messaging

Alpha sender ID: Yes   Excludes Zain.

Numeric sender ID: Yes   Excludes Zain.

Alpha numeric sender ID: Yes   Excludes Zain.

Shortcode sender ID: Yes   STC only.

Sender IDs filtered: No

Handset Delivery reports: Yes

SMSC Delivery report: No

Binary: Yes

Concatenated Messages: Yes

Character Encoding: Yes   Full SMPP v3.4

Character Sets Supported: Yes   0×00(Default GSM encoding), 0×01(US-ASCII), 0×02(Binary), 0×03(ISO8859-1-Latin-1), 0×04(Binary), 0×08(UCS2/UTF-16BE)

Submit_multi: Yes

Maximum validity periods: 48 hours   Which is the recommended value.

Traffic type exclusions?: No exclusions other than no illegal services or content.