Communications in Saudi Arabia

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Telephones - main lines in use: 3,317,550 (2002)

Telephones - mobile cellular: 21,500,000 (2007)
note: In 2004, the Saudi Telecom Company (STC) monopolization was broken by authorizing Etihad Etisalat/Mobily to compete in mobile communication, in June 2009 GO Telecom (Etihad Atheeb Telecom) or "جو" also entered the market.

Digital Radio Trunking- 100,000 (Unofficial):
In late 2005, bravO! Telecom was launched as the country's digital radio trunking operator under a B.O.T agreement with the incumbent operator STC, with an estimated 100,000 subscribers as of Nov'07.

Telephone system: modern system
domestic: extensive microwave radio relay and coaxial and fiber-optic cable systems
international: microwave radio relay to Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, Yemen, and Sudan; coaxial cable to Kuwait and Jordan; submarine cable to Djibouti, Egypt and Bahrain; satellite earth stations - 5 Intelsat (3 Atlantic Ocean and 2 Indian Ocean), 1 Arabsat, and 1 Inmarsat (Indian Ocean region)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 43, FM 31, shortwave 2 (1998)

Radios: 6.25 million (1997)

Television broadcast stations: 117 (1997)

Televisions: 5.1 million (1997)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 22 (2005)

Internet Users: 4,800,000 (December 2006)

Country code (Top level domain): .sa

Broadband Internet access

An ADSL service in Saudi Arabia has become available since 2001. As part of its monopoly on all methods of communication in Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Telecom Company is the only complete provider, though several ISPs are available, with the permission of STC.

STC is the only provider for telephone lines in Saudi Arabia. For this reason customers have to pay two fees, one to STC for activation of the ADSL service across the telephone line, and a second to an ISP to provide Internet service across the ADSL line. STC has been highly criticized for their service in providing ADSL access as customers had to wait many months to receive ADSL service on their phone lines. In 2006, STC had invested in increasing the size of their ADSL infrastructure and since then the wait times had improved, but many customers are still on waiting lists.

As of January 2009, the maximum Internet speed available is currently 20 Mbit/s.

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