Ways to connect
In Saudi Arabia, fast optic fibre and ASDL connection have good coverage in built up areas and mobile 4G connections are becoming increasingly popular. Wifi is also widely available in most restaurants and hotels. In the more remote parts of the country, satellite connection is often used, but this can be slow.
Internet service providers
The main operators are: Saudi Telecom Company (STC), Zain, ICT, and Mobily, all of which offer fast landline and mobile connections. Lebara and Virgin Mobile have recently joined the market but they currently only offer mobile broadband (Feb.2019). If you live in a rural area, Zahara net and a couple of other providers offer alternative ways to connect to the internet (e.g. satellite), but these are significantly more expensive than mobile broadband plans.
Contracts come in pay-as-you-go or post-paid terms. Make sure you pay close attention to the small print as sometimes post-paid contracts can tie you in for a very long time.
When purchasing a new internet package, you need to provide your passport and your resident permit. Prices and internet speed options vary based on your location and the provider. High market competition means you should shop around to secure the best deal for you. Most providers have good websites in English, but for more information it’s a good idea to visit one of their official stores.
Please note: the internet in Saudi Arabia is highly censored and traffic is closely monitored. You should always pay close attention to how you use the internet.