The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's (KSA) Communications and Information Technology Commission i.e. CITC has its primary obligation of regulation of telecom sector in the Kingdom nation. This role of CITC includes among its manifold role, one of licensing the telecom service providers (TSPs) and ensure compliance of TSPs to the Telecom laws such as Ministerial Resolution Number 74 of 5/3/1422H, Royal Decree Number M/12 of June 2001 as well as bye-laws related to it which are issued by Ministry of Post, Telegraph and Telephone Resolution Number 11 dated 27 July 2001.

To reduce spam messages in KSA, the government has issued new set of regulation for reducing spam messages viz. CITC Decision Number 395/1439 of 14 August 2018. The TSPs that are licensed to operate in spectrum allocated to them by the Ministry of Post, Telegraph and Telephone Resolution shall be required to take strict action against spam messages which are transmitted using network frequency on which these TSPs operate. Spam messages defined under these new regulations implies to any electronic messages which are sent without any opt-out option. Also, electronic message under these regulation means messages which are transmitted through telecommunication network but with electronic constitution such as email, flash SMS, fax, MMS, SMS, etc. But noteworthy is that the regulations is silent on the fact of spam voice calls.

In order to sieve the messages, the TSPs need to categorize the messages as:

  • Awareness messages: guidance content to all users by government agencies, banks, hospitals, others.
  • Personal messages: electronic messages from a specified user number to another specified user number.
  • Promotional messages: commercial or marketing messages
  • Service messages: service content to a specific user for the purpose of providing information on operational aspects of that service
  • Warning messages: sent by responsible government entities to warn against imminent threats or to alert users.

The new regulation serves to control nuisance and marketing fraud which occurs through medium of the spam messages thereby protecting the consumers from market harassment and also ensuring fair marketing practices.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.