Latest update on telecoms regulation from the Middle East and North Africa 27 October 23 Muatasem Khairaddeen

Our MENA Telecoms Update shows the most significant regulatory events occurring in the region between 15 July and 15 October 2023.

Saudi Arabia became the first country in the region to impose net neutrality rules. The rules ensure the right of end users to access and distribute lawful content, require service providers to treat lawful traffic equally, and to treat all internet traffic equally.

Algeria launched a tender to cover with 4G networks 1,400 localities with a population under 2,000 inhabitants. The tender is open to existing mobile network operators, with the results of the tender expected in December 2023. The universal service fund will pay for the project. Türkiye adopted a confirmation-call procedure to ensure that consumers are fully aware of the details of their internet/TV and fixed call subscriptions.

Saudi Arabia adopted a plan to use 20 MHz in the 5.9 GHz band for vehicle-to-everything technology (V2X).

Saudi Arabia also required all data centre service providers to register with the regulator CST as of January 2024. In addition, Saudi Arabia introduced a new regulation categorising data centres and setting out registration requirements for each category. Finally, Saudi Arabia updated reporting requirements in case of any cloud security breach.

The Turkish regulator started to blacklist mobile devices that have not been connected to a mobile network for one year or more. Separately, the regulator concluded that there was no significant change in the mobile call termination market, and therefore extended the validity period of the previous market analysis for an additional three years.

Jordan established a new regime for personal data protection, including a regulatory and institutional framework. Oman requires telecoms operators to adopt risk management plans.

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