STC, Mobily or Zain (prepaid mobile phone and internet)

Hi everyone, I am new here.

This post is regarding PREPAID mobile internet and mobile phone in KSA.

I'm choosing between main operators (STC, Mobily, Zain).

I'd like to know your experiences using prepaid services in KSA (especially if you've used more than one service to compare the pros/cons).

I will be in a medium sized city (Hofuf) where 4G may not be available, however 3G for both phone and internet should be working. I won't know for sure till I get there.

For mobile internet (usb stick, mobile wifi, or plugin router) are the 3 connection technologies. Have you noticed much difference between them? Or is more a matter of location, luck... ?

I intend to use internet with personal laptop only. I don't have any devices.

I will also have to get a VPN, but i will make a separate post about that.

I am mostly interested in unlimited Gigabytes/month. I know unlimited means 30, 50 or 60GB/month, that's more than enough. However, i will settle for 20GB/month as a minimum.

I mostly use the internet for Youtube, media downloads and extensive surfing. No social media.

Note: The speed of downloads or time required to load pages isn't as important for me as the stability of the connection. I don't mind waiting for tabs to open as long as they open. I often open many tabs.

Some of the annual prepaid internet offers provide great discounts. But, i don't want to commit for one year with a company I don't know yet.

As for the phone, local SMS is the only service I use in great frequency. I'd like to have unlimited SMS every month or a very low per SMS rate. I don't need data on the phone. I make rare voice calls in emergencies.

No roaming, or international necessary. I use Skype for that.

I have an unlocked triband Nokia bought in Australia a couple years ago (however it's NOT a smartphone). I think it's GSM 850 / 1900 / 2100. I prefer to avoid buying a new phone. Also, package bundles with services I don't need (like voice, data and sms combos). I just need the sms.

Anyways, i think that's enough information to get started.

So, what do you think? Based on the above information, would you choose STC, Mobily or Zain?


Zain has an amazing offers

Stc has the best coverage

And i hate mobaily

Im talking about the phone Internet data
For me im using stc prepared  Internet data

300 for 3 months  unlimited data usage i have
Small huawei wifi

Its very coool i really recommend it

If you are uusing phone only go for zain they have some good packages


Doesn't it matter what city you live in? Hofuf, for example is a smaller city. It may be possible that 4G is not available there, so all these deals and packages Zain has may not even apply. I need to know form someone who lives in Hofuf to be sure :cheers:

For internet, do you think it's working for you because of your location?

I was working as medical representative
So  i was coming to al hafouf regularly
Stc stc stc :top:

OK I will investigate STC further. Is this what you're talking about? … t-packages

What do you think of Hofuf? Have you managed to find some nice vegetarian food for example (Indian, maybe)? What are the major supermarkets in the city?

What was your problem with Mobily?

So I have all 3,

2 STC 4G boxes - which are truly unlimited, 1 Mobily 4g which throttles back to 128k once your over a limit - seems like 20 GB per month and the zain box which is lightening quick when it does work.

I live in the middle of Riyadh - all three boxes I have to force to be 4G/LTE - the STC ones have the extra antenna attached.

If you want the quickest Zain then mobily, then STC if you want consistency STC, Mobily then Zain

Recommendation avoid mobily get an STC one for Netflix and a Zain for the torrents.

im getting zain today. Im from Khobar but will be based here in a month or two. so you recommend zain for speed???


if it works

Thanks for your informative post - STC seems like what I need for occasional video skyping, daily youtube streaming and extensive tabbed browsing. These are the most important.

A lot of people have so far recommended the STC unlimited prepaid for 3 months at 300SAR. Also the Huawei Mifi has been mentioned a few times. Is this not included in the 300SAR for 3 months? I have to buy the MIFI separately for 400SAR? Can't I just lease it for the three months?

One issue is location, i am NOT going to be using internet in a big city. Instead, a medium sized city in the middle of the desert. Location and sandstorms may result in delayed or no connection. Will a STC connection be able to muddle through in these conditions?

On the issue of changing from 4G to 3G, perhaps this is a built in feature of months of service. Meaning, they offer the better service for new customers. 18Mbps is good, isn't it?

My new house is going to be a single furnished private apartment. There is already Internet there but I have been warned it's basic. I will need to supplement for personal use. I'm also not a gamer.

By 4G boxes, do you mean plugged in router?

I also download in moderate amount so I can connect to a separate Zain overnight. But for Zain, should I also use MIFI or the smaller USB stick?

Zain is the worst among the top 3 telco companies in Saudi. especially bad for expats. I got here and immediately my employer gave me a sim card for mobily, BUT I need to get a second sim card as a backup in case the main one is down. I had to choose between Zain and STC. I went for Zain because it is cheaper and offered some good data packages. Turns out those packages are only for local citizens.and they have the worst customer service online and offline. Their USSD code system is useless, and voice CS system is in arabic with no way of changing the language.

For non locals in Saudi, stay away from this brand.

@zanoo STC SIM

@zanoo STC SIM

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Cheryl team
HI Cheryl

I am moving to Riyadh in 1st week August I will be on the bae campus. How can I get Internet and vpn set up and who should I use