Please enter your username and password here:Forgot Password?
Please enter your details here:or Login
Saudi Arabia is a large country, but mobile phone coverage is generally excellent in the populated areas. The country has a high percentage of mobile phone users and quality of service is usually good.
Saudi Arabia’s standard networks work on the GSM 900 and 1800 standards, so any phone you bring with you must conform to it. For higher quality 3G and 4G you will need to make sure that your wavelength is compatible. For 4G in Saudi Arabia you will require 1800, 2300 or 2600Mhz, this is not the same as the wavelengths for 4G in the USA. Keeping your home service provider is probably not a good idea, as roaming charges are high in Saudi Arabia. When you first arrive, your best choice may be to buy a prepaid SIM card. Once you are settled in Saudi Arabia you can investigate long term contracts.
There are three main network providers in Saudi Arabia:
Competition between providers means that there are a large number of different offers and prices available; so as always it pays to do some research. Also you will have to decide whether you want to use the internet on your phone. Mobile internet phone service is quite expensive and can occasionally be slow during periods of high usage. There is a useful website here which maps the phone coverage for the country, don’t worry about the large number of blanks spots, these are mainly desert. You should realise though that if you go sightseeing off the beaten track, there may not be coverage if you encounter a problem. Once you have settled into your accommodation you can always ask your neighbours if there are any problems with coverage in the area.
Broadband internet based on a landline or mobile (dongle) is pretty much standard in Saudi Arabia. The only landline provider in Saudi Arabia is STC, so you will have no choice but to deal with them. Generally expat accommodation will come with a landline fitted. STC also provides mobile internet services as do Mobily and Zain. Satellite TV is also an option, satellite dishes are common in Saudi Arabia and many compounds will already have one installed. The three main providers of programmes are Arabsat, Nilesat and Hotbird. The choice of English language channels is somewhat limited. STC offer bundled services of internet, phone and TV.
You should be aware there is heavy censorship in Saudi Arabia. You will soon get used to the forbidden access page on the internet. Gambling, drug-related, sexual education, pornographic, LGBT and non-islamic religious sites are all strictly banned; the full list is much longer. The reasoning behind some specific site bans can sometimes be difficult to fathom. Television and films available will not portray any of these banned activities either, and programmes will also have been censored for any depiction of the drinking of alcohol. This censorship can cause some loss of plot; for example, a man walks towards a building that might contain a bar, in the next shot he is lying dead in the morgue.
Sections in LIVING IN SAUDI ARABIA:
» Safety and Emergencies for Expats in Saudi Arabia
» Retirement for Expats in Saudi Arabia
» Family Life and Childcare for Expats in Saudi Arabia
» Solo Living and Dating for Expats in Saudi Arabia
» Shopping for Expats in Saudi Arabia
» Entertainment, Media and Television for Expats in Saudi Arabia
» Arts and Culture for Expats in Saudi Arabia
» Fitness and Sport for Expats in Saudi Arabia
» Communications for Expats in Saudi Arabia
» Driving and Public Transport for Expats in Saudi Arabia
» Government, Politics and Legal Systems for Expats in Saudi Arabia
» Regions and Cities for Expats in Saudi Arabia
We value input from our readers. If you spot an error on this page or have any suggestions, please let us know.
If you are considering moving to Saudi Arabia or are soon to depart, you can find helpful information and advice in the Expat Briefing dedicated Saudi Arabia section including; details of immigration and visas, Saudi Arabian forums, Saudi Arabian event listings and service providers in Saudi Arabia.
From your safety to shopping, living in Saudi Arabia can yield great benefits as well as occasional drawbacks. Find your feet and stay abreast of the latest developments affecting expats in Saudi Arabia with relevant news and up-to-date information.
Working in Saudi Arabia can be rewarding as well as stressful, if you don't plan ahead and fulfill any legal requirements. Find out about visas and passports, owning and operating a company in Saudi Arabia, and general Saudi Arabian culture of the labour market.
About | Useful Links | Global Media Partners | Media | Advertising And Sales | Banners And Widgets | Glossary | RSS | Privacy & Cookies | Terms And Conditions | Editorial Policy | Refer To A Friend | Newsletters | Contact | Site Map
Important Notice: Wolters Kluwer TAA Limited has taken reasonable care in sourcing and presenting the information contained on this site, but accepts no responsibility for any financial or other loss or damage that may result from its use. In particular, users of the site are advised to take appropriate professional advice before committing themselves to involvement in offshore jurisdictions, offshore trusts or offshore investments. © Wolters Kluwer TAA Ltd 2017. All rights reserved.
The Expat Briefing brand is owned and operated by Wolters Kluwer TAA Limited.