Traveling to a new country can be an exciting and enriching experience, but it can also come with its fair share of challenges. One of the most important considerations for tourists visiting Saudi Arabia is how to stay connected to the internet. In this comprehensive blog post, we’ll explore the mobile internet landscape in Saudi Arabia, from coverage and speed to the different connectivity options available to travelers.

The Mobile Internet in Saudi Arabia

I. Saudi Arabia Mobile Internet Coverage and Speed

1. Saudi Arabia Mobile Internet Coverage

Saudi Mobile Internet Coverage
Saudi Mobile Internet Coverage. Source: Opensignal

Saudi Arabia has made significant strides in developing its telecommunications infrastructure in recent years. The country boasts a robust mobile network that covers a vast majority of the population. According to the latest industry reports, the three major mobile operators in Saudi Arabia – STC, Mobily, and Zain – collectively cover over 98% of the country’s geographical area.

  • STC (Saudi Telecom Company): It is the largest telecom network in Saudi Arabia, covering over 98% of the population across both highly populated urban centers as well as rural areas. STC maintains the most advanced nationwide network, making it a top choice for both calls and internet access within the kingdom.
  • Mobily: Mobily is Saudi Arabia’s second largest mobile operator, with an extensive 4G LTE network covering 98% of the country. While its 4G network expansion continues, Mobily provides solid 3G coverage in even the remotest areas.
  • Zain: It boasts a high speed 4G network across 95% of the nation, with the remainder covered by 3G. Zain is quickly expanding its 4G infrastructure with a focus on Tier 2 and 3 cities.

This extensive coverage ensures that tourists can access the internet from virtually anywhere in Saudi Arabia, whether they’re exploring the bustling cities, venturing into the desert, or visiting remote historical sites. The availability of 4G and even 5G networks in many parts of the country further enhances the reliability and speed of the mobile internet experience.

2. Saudi Arabia Mobile Internet Speed

Saudi Arabia Mobile Internet Speed
Saudi Arabia Mobile Internet Speed. Source: Speedtest

When it comes to mobile internet speeds, Saudi Arabia has made impressive advancements. The average download speed for mobile internet in the country is around 125.19 Mbps, this places Saudi Arabia in the 11th globally in terms of average 4G speeds according to Speedtest’s report . This means that tourists can expect a relatively fast and reliable internet connection for tasks such as browsing the web, streaming media, and staying connected with friends and family back home.  Overall, the considerable improvements have made Saudi Arabia one of the fastest countries for mobile data in the Middle East region.

In conclusion, the mobile internet coverage and speeds in Saudi Arabia are generally quite impressive, providing tourists with a reliable and high-quality connectivity experience. Visitors can feel confident in their ability to stay connected while exploring the wonders of this fascinating country.

II. Mobile Internet in Saudi Arabia: Connection Options for Tourists

When visiting Saudi Arabia, travelers have several options to stay connected to the internet. From using public Wi-Fi to activating a local SIM card or eSIM, each option comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. Let’s explore the different connectivity options in detail:

Connectivity OptionProsConsPrice Range (USD)
Free Public Wi-Fi– No additional costs
– Widely available in major cities
– Unreliable connection
– Limited bandwidth
– Security risks
Pocket Wi-Fi– Consistent internet access
– Can connect multiple devices
– High rental fees
– Limited battery life
$5 – $15 per day
eSIM– Convenient setup
– Flexible data plans
– Limited smartphone compatibility
– Potential roaming charges
$10 – $30 per GB
Local SIM Card– Affordable local data rates
– Reliable internet connection
– Requires unlocked device
– Purchasing process can be inconvenient
$5 – $20 for 3-10 GB of data
Roaming– No need to purchase a new SIM card– Significantly higher rates
– Limited data allowance
$20 – $100+ per GB

eSIM presents a compelling option for tourists looking for easy, affordable connectivity in Saudi Arabia. By providing instant digital SIMs that are quickly activated, eSIM services eliminate the inconvenience of obtaining a physical SIM card. Flexible data-centric plans cater to varying travel durations better than monthly bundles. Overall, eSIM strikes the ideal balance between convenience, pricing and coverage for most international visitors.

Recommendation: With eSIM from, you can connect seamlessly to 4G/LTE networks across Saudi with superfast speeds from only $5.50. No roaming apply, saving you big on international data costs

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III. Mobile Internet Rates in Saudi Arabia

When it comes to mobile internet rates in Saudi Arabia, there is a various of options to consider, including Roaming, Free Wifi, a SIM card, eSIM,.. Let’s check it 

Connectivity OptionRates
Roaming-$5-10/MB without plan 
– Roaming plans start from $10/day for 500MB
Free Public WiFi– Free 
– Usage capped at 250-500MB daily
Local SIM Card– Prepaid SIMs from $10 for 3-5GB/30 days 
eSIM– $5-10 for 1GB daily 
– 7-30 day plans $10-30 for 2-5GB daily
International Plans– $10-15/GB in KSA while roaming 
– Speeds capped at 3G/2G

It’s important to note that these rates are subject to change and may vary depending on the time of year, promotional offers, and other factors. Additionally, some operators may offer additional features or benefits, such as unlimited calls or SMS, which can impact the overall value of the package.

When choosing a mobile data plan, it’s essential to consider factors such as the duration of your stay, your anticipated data usage, and the convenience of the package. By carefully evaluating your needs and comparing the offerings of the different mobile operators, you can ensure that you select the best mobile internet option for your trip to Saudi Arabia.

IV. Best Mobile Operators in Saudi Arabia

In Saudi Arabia, there are three major mobile operators that dominate the market: STC, Mobily, and Zain. Each of these providers offers a range of services and packages tailored to the needs of both residents and tourists.

OperatorCoverageSIM Card Price RangeProsCons
STC95% of population coveredStarting from $10 for 3-5GB/30 days prepaidLargest network with widest coverageMore expensive postpaid plansPoor customer service reputation
MobilyOver 80% population coveredStarting from $5 for 1-2GB/30 days prepaidAffordable prepaid ratesLess coverage than STCSlower 4G speeds in some areas
ZainCovers over 75% of populationStarting from $5 for 500MB-1GB/30 days prepaidBudget friendly optionsLimited coverage compared to STC and MobilySlower network performance

Overall, STC provides the best coverage nationwide while Mobily offers the best balance of coverage, performance and value. Zain is best for price-conscious users in major cities. Choice depends on priority between coverage, performance and cost.


What is the best way to stay connected to the internet while traveling in Saudi Arabia?

The best way to stay connected in Saudi Arabia largely depends on your specific needs and the duration of your trip. Options include using free public Wi-Fi, renting a pocket Wi-Fi device, purchasing a local SIM card, or activating an eSIM on your smartphone. Each option has its own pros and cons, so it’s important to evaluate your requirements and choose the solution that best fits your needs.

How much does it cost to use mobile internet in Saudi Arabia?

The cost of mobile internet in Saudi Arabia can vary depending on the provider, the data package, and the duration of your stay. Typical data package prices range from around $13 USD for 4GB of data over 7 days to $40 USD for 15GB over 30 days. It’s advisable to research the offerings of the major mobile operators (STC, Mobily, and Zain) to find the most suitable and cost-effective option for your trip.

Can I use my home country’s SIM card for roaming in Saudi Arabia?

Yes, you can use your home country’s SIM card for roaming in Saudi Arabia. However, it’s important to be aware of the potential roaming charges, which can be significantly higher than using a local SIM card or an eSIM. To avoid unexpected costs, it’s recommended to check with your home provider for their international roaming rates and consider alternative options, such as activating eSIM or purchasing a local SIM card if your device isn’t eSIM- supported, which may be more cost-effective.

Do all smartphones work with eSIM in Saudi Arabia?

No, not all smartphones are compatible with eSIM technology. The availability of eSIM support varies by device and manufacturer. Before your trip, it’s essential to check if your smartphone is eSIM-compatible and whether your mobile operator offers eSIM plans for travelers visiting Saudi Arabia. If your device is not eSIM-compatible, you may need to consider other options, such as purchasing a local SIM card or renting a pocket Wi-Fi device.

Is there Free Wifi in Saudi Arabia

Yes, you can use free public Wi-Fi in Saudi Arabia, which is widely available in many hotels, cafes, shopping malls, and other public spaces. While convenient, it’s important to be aware of the potential security risks associated with public Wi-Fi networks, as they are often unencrypted. It’s recommended to use a VPN or exercise caution when accessing sensitive information while using public Wi-Fi.

VI. Conclusion

Staying connected to the internet is crucial for tourists visiting Saudi Arabia, whether it’s for navigating the country, accessing information, or staying in touch with friends and family back home..

From utilizing free public Wi-Fi to  purchasing a SIM card or eSIM, there are several ways for tourists to stay connected in Saudi Arabia. Each option has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s essential to evaluate your specific requirements and choose the most suitable option.