Saudi Arabia is where I lived and worked for over a decade
We are starting a section on the quality of service, whether it pertains to individual Internet Service Providers (ISPs), the Saudi Telecom Company (STC) or King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST). Each one of these is responsible for certain parts of the internet infrastructure in the kingdom, as highlighted in our overview on the Technical Setup of the Internet in Saudi Arabia.
Following are some frequently asked questions (FAQ) on Saudi Arabia's ISPs.Q: Why such a plain site with no animations, ..etc.? A: The answer is simple: This page main purpose is "useful information to the viewer, as fast as possible". The purpose is not to show off web development skills, or the latest technology, but rather to load fast in people's browsers. I hate pages that take forever to load, only to have little or no relevant information. Q: I want to bypass the Proxies and access blocked sites. Can you help me? A: The short answer is: No!.
Just like Cellular GSM phones have global roaming, now the internet offers this feature for the frequent traveller.There are several ways to have roaming, with different approaches:
We used information from the various ISPs web pages, as well as from the Internet Service Unit (ISU) division of King AbdulAziz City for Science and Technology (KACST). We also used "various word of mouth" information from actual users of various services. We called ISPs and got pricing information. We browsed their web sites (if operational) to get an idea
Many readers of this site have expressed their kind thanks and appreciation of the information in these pages. It is this very kind of encouragement that keeps me working on this site on my spare time. So thanks go to all the people who have sent me these nice e-mails.
Other web sites have articles and news announcements on the same subject as this page, but are not as comprehensive. You may want to check them out yourself.
The official list of 39 companies can be found at this page at the ISU. They also have a file (in Arabic Rich Text format containing a list of companies licenced to be ISPs in Saudi Arabia, with their telephone numbers. A fuller list with contact names, telephone and fax numbers, and addresses is also available at the Trade Port November 1998 article which lists 41 companies.
Cyber cafes have seen explosive growth in Saudi Arabia over the last year.
It is practically impossible to list all the cafes operating in the Kingdom, but at least the few of them listed below should give the traveller or the occasional user what they need.
Update: The per-minute access charges are now reduced to 3 SR per hour. That is a 33% reduction over the previous rate. Update: On May 14, Reuters reported (according to this ZDNet article) that prices will be reduced, perhaps by June 2000! Some providers have already cut the prices down (e.g. TriNet has cut its unlimited monthly subscription from 420 SR to 200 SR.
So, you live in Saudi Arabia, and all your friends and colleagues at the office have Internet access, except you, that is...You want to get an internet account, but puzzled on what is available in the market... Or perhaps you are a young Saudi studying abroad, and get internet access at your university. Your study is coming to an end, and you are moving back to the kingdom, and wonder what internet access is available these days... Or maybe your company is moving you to Saudi Arabia, and you don't know what internet access options are there in that country...