Free incoming calls with Zain!

Post by Mark


Starting today Zain users no longer have to pay for incoming calls! Don’t know how much this will effect my phone bill but hopefully its a nice chunk.

Update: According to one reader it seems Viva found out last night of Zain’s offer so they had a press conference in which they announced they would also give free incoming calls. And according to another reader, Wataniya is now also going to offer the same thing so it looks like its a great day for everyone!

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119 comments, add your own...

  1. Abdulmohsen says:

    I thought that VIVA is doing this… I never knew that Zain is doing it too

  2. Mark says:

    hehe check ANY newspaper, its all Zain today morning.

  3. Pure says:

    are they trying to copy viva ?! not that im complaining :p

    check this :

  4. mocman says:


  5. Croco Rock says:

    Utterly disgraceful that they charge for incoming calls anyways!

    I’m glad Viva is coming to town, they will shake up the monopoly.

  6. VirusX says:

    December, 3 2008

    VIVA vs. ZAIN vs. Wataniya

    The WAR has just begun!

    And we will be the winners

    The Monopolization Era is over!

  7. Mark says:

    yeah we are definitely going to be the winners. I never had a big issue with my phone bill here since its so much more cheaper than Lebanon but if this war is going to make it even cheaper I won’t complain :)

  8. purpleram says:

    Is mobile to mobile free calls?

  9. zoheb says:

    wat abt wataniya ppl…heard nothin abt them canceling incoming charges

  10. VirusX says:

    purpleram, nope landlines & international calls
    meaning you wont lose money if your mobile rings
    what ever the caller number is!

  11. BOQ says:

    What about the people who have some sort of prepaid packages from ZAIN, either the LANA or WIYANA or whatever their called, will this change the whole package scheme ???

  12. sfsa78 says:

    Kuwait vs. Qatar(wataniya) vs. Viva(Saudi)… Could be interesting….
    by the way… They still dont have the 16.4 mb Internet yet… Anyone know when??

  13. Mark says:

    If only this was a football match taking place in the 80s

  14. Amjad says:

    Wow. In Kuwait you used to be charged for incoming calls, just like the US? That sucks…

  15. Holla says:

    hmmm, SUDDENLY the MOI decides to be really nice and allow these companies to not charge incoming?
    or more like these companies were BS’ing the whole time about these phantom charges from the MOI ?

  16. ET says:

    Do you know that Zain has an actual war room designed with miltary gear and camoflage in their HQ lool were they brainstorm ideas to “kill” VIVA, who knows whats next, competition is always good and about time

  17. sfsa78 says:

    you got a link to this amazing news??? I can’t find anything on zain’s site.. Thanks

  18. zaydoun says:

    Competition is healthy

  19. sfsa78 says:

    romour has it that viva will charge 18fils per Minute for calls… Emergency meeting happening today at zain in order to ready new prices if viva does to thru with 18fils…
    wataniya is still fast asleep :)

    Price war has just begun.
    Remember people, industry analysts of telecom on Kuwait are expecting better quality even if price doesn’t come down.. So more for your bucks..

  20. xavier says:


  21. Adrenaline says:

    Enjoy it while it lasts…it won’t be long before they will become friends

  22. Q8i browser says:

    OMG ..i didnt know they used to charge for incoming international calls !!!!!

  23. Yousef says:

    Will they be introducing phone number cross over? I hate my service with Wataniya and would want to switch to Zain or VIVA. But I would also like to keep my number as is. Any idea when or if they will be implementing this service in Kuwait?

  24. Abdoush says:

    Yeeeha… It was unfair anyway !! Thank God a 3rd comer like Viva shaked the whole Telecom, they did it first..saw it it on the roads :)

  25. It’s already too late for the kuwait mobile service company stop incoming charges, while other country strip incoming charges long time ago. Thanks to the Zain at last they wakeup, hope other provider will follow same. Congratulation everyone & enjoy talking.

  26. kadavul says:

    I did not see anything in zain website :-(

  27. Talal says:


    Man…I guess Etisalat isn’t as bad as people make it out to be.

  28. Desert Girl says:

    Good. Viva la competition!

    Unfortunately, I’m sure that Zain will make up for the revenue some other way.

  29. Nida says:

    God Bless Competition! lol

  30. Sekhar says:

    HI, I made a test call to my zain line and had 45 fills cut for 7 seconds !! . May be still not effective.

  31. nomo says:

    i just made a test call to my zain line for 18 secs and nothing was deducted..
    it is effective… try again..

  32. Adrenaline says:

    I heard that you need to assign a number which the calls comes from..u only get to assign one number for the free incoming calls.

    Free incoming calls -marketing gimmick-

  33. toms says:

    Guys check again… I didnt see anything on the website… I think it is all a hoax…. and viva has`nt mentioned anything as yet
    if it is then hoo haa!!!!
    I hope wataniya does too… all my dealings is on my wataniya line…..cheerio

  34. Shabbir says:

    Well then how about wataniya people, do they know the news about zain, are they going to be a part of this race. ?????

  35. Mark says:

    Adrenaline its not a marketing gimmick, ALL incoming calls are free.

  36. Mark says:

    toms: check the outdoor megas for the viva ad and any front page of any newspaper today for zains ad

  37. Mohammed says:

    I defintly know Zain launched first, my brother works there! He said thatViva got examples of the adds from Zain yesterday than VIVA CEO went urgent to TV in the middle of the night (crazy, no?) to say they were doing as well

  38. Nasser says:

    I believe Zain just though Viva a lesson: “Don’t mess with Kuwaitis in their home”

  39. Hala says:

    I don’t like these saudis… I don’t trust them. Competition is good, but I prefer Zain much more.

  40. Abdulla says:

    I heard from a source at one of the major Kuwaiti newspapers that they recieved the adds from Zain first and someone must have told Viva about it

  41. oshkosh says:

    VIVA Zain ..

  42. KRISIS says:

    Wataniya is annoucing the same today! A new era for Kuwaiti telecommunications. We’re finally like everyone else in the world.

  43. JoJo says:

    VIVA is not Saudi ! They have 960 000 Kuwaitis as shareholders at this time & until shares are tradeable after the first positive Balance Sheets.

    VIVA had it planned all along to introduce means to quickly lure customers from the other two companies & the best way is to give Freebees ! As it is normal with corporate espionage Zain learned this and came up with the same idea to prevent losing customers.All those who reserved a VIVA no. on-line got a an sms announcing the Free incoming calls Booth :Local & International. I love competetion .
    I will change to VIVA so that the value of my shares go up & I recommend all share holders to do the same. If you are a Kuwait then u must be a shareholder,,,, If you do not know ask your guardian

  44. Moey says:

    VIVA did it last night, I got my facebook msg at 12 am :)

  45. Evil Knievel says:

    Who cares who was first …. the question is why is Wataniya still sleeping?!?

  46. Zozo3300 says:

    wataniya entered this competion and she took the same stratigy and starting from 00:01 at 4-Dec it will start its free call reception from landline and international incoming calls

  47. Khaled says:

    Exactly who cares who was first we care who is BEST and we all know its Zain …

  48. jooj says:

    better the devil you know

  49. wataniya says:

    Because we are planning something big :)

  50. Ansam says:

    Evil Knievel! Wataniya is in the game too :-P
    Check their website

    I will post it on my website now :-P

  51. Meshari says:

    Yes, Wataniya did it, i confirm this, gotta love to see how this battle filed will be like.

    I just heard that Viva will allow free calls after 11 PM until 6 in the morning, i don’t know if this applies to prepaid, but i got it from a genuine source.

  52. Daddyz Girl says:

    Announcement to all WATANIYA prepaid & post paid customer FREE INCOMING CALLS (national & international) effective today (3rd December 2008)

  53. Musa'ad Haider says:

    Are they even ready for the huge load that they are now going to get on their networks due to free incoming? I am expecting failed and dropped calls in next few days.

  54. STING says:

    wataniya viva & zain
    not only zain

  55. STING says:

    it is from the ministry of telecomunicatin not from th ecompanies

  56. Evil Knievel says:

    Yap … Wataniya just sent out SMS to tell all of us that incoming calls are for free … YEAH!!!

    So lets work on free OUTGOING CALLS now !! :D

  57. jooj says:

    Yes that must be it!!
    I think they might have waived the charges on the companies in order to encourage new entrants like viva

  58. Mark says:

    lol yeah we want outgoing calls for free!

  59. Daddyz Girl says:

    dont count on that :P

  60. sfsa78 says:

    10 years from now:
    “I hjust heard that zain will be paying us to use their lines”.. lol “P

  61. sfsa78 says:

    Keeping you, our customers in mind, we have stopped charging for any incoming calls starting from Dec 3rd

    This is applicable only for voice calls and includes any calls coming from:

    International numbers
    And numbers which do not have any caller ID

    so if u read the above carefully, you’ll understand that we will still be charged for recieving calls from othr mobiles or networks. a gimmik!! Go to zain’s site and check for yourself.

  62. f150 says:

    Value Prepaid line from VIVA customers will enjoy free OUTGOING calls forever!! and local calls to Aljawal KSA!!!!!

  63. I.B. says:

    viva customers only:

    your viva to viva calls will be free after 5 minutes of the call :)

    you talk for 2 hours and get Charged for 5 minutes.

    Checkout al_watan tv at 5 pm today for viva launch event.

    Enjoy :)

  64. Meshari says:

    Just got a call, It’s confirmed, Outgoing calls from 11 PM until 6 AM will be free, from Viva to Viva.

  65. Telco Guru says:


    Regardless of who waived incoming calls first (which i firmly believe it was Viva), you have to know that Zain and Wataniya were charging you for the past 10 years, knowing that all the moeny they charged went to their pockets.
    It is not true that the ministry of communications was imposing this.

    Therefore, make sure to enjoy VIVA because they have changed the rules of the game in Kuwait, and proved that they are really transparent.

    With VIVA, you can also enjoy:
    – Free calls after 5 minutes
    – Unlimited calls to your best friend
    – Lower international rates
    – Best customer service

    viva VIVA!

  66. Damon Dash says:

    viva customers only
    enjoy free outgoing calls for 3 months!!

    oh it’s on……

  67. NJK says:

    Hello Viva Employees Welcome to the 248am blog
    Please stop pushing your products here

  68. Hala says:

    Dear Telco Guru,

    Are you an employee of VIVA? Thank you for the information, but identify yourself! So I can decide how much should I convey your messages!

  69. Hayat says:

    Best customer service? is that why the call center has been down ALL DAY!

  70. Telco Guru says:


    I am not a VIVA employee – I am an idependent telecom analyst covering the competition in Kuwait.


  71. Kataku says:

    Actually …

    Viva planned it first. Zain only utilized its media strength and announced it first. If Viva hadn’t planned it first you would still be getting charged for incoming lines. Give credit to the company that deserves it not the one that has a banner on your site :)

    Viva La Viva

    Down with the behemoth that is Zain

    Join the revolución …

  72. Hala says:

    Dear Telco Guru,

    LoL. “Independent”…
    Sij ‘9a7aktny………………….

  73. Telco Guru says:

    Trust me Hala – I am independent.
    Being independent, doesn’t mean that i could not take sides with real facts, such as:
    1) I completely believe that Zain is a market leader and innovator with great services – I will definitely not be cancelling my Zain line
    2) But you, as a consumer, have been fooled for the past 10 years, and forced to pay for incoming calls with no specific reason

    Anyway, i am happy that i made you laugh — So enjoy the competition show! :)

  74. holla says:

    telco guru if you noticed i already mention this.

  75. Nawaz says:

    Very glad to know that incoming calls free now…

    Lets have a competent market rather than monopolistic…

    We can consider it as a Eid Gift

  76. 3arif says:

    These are benefits of pure competiton market.
    Down with monopoly !!!!
    Encourage competition.

  77. bOs3ayD says:

    Am Glad they introduced the third Telecom Company, ViVa has shaken the industry and introduced competition. We are the winners =)

  78. Mahmoud says:

    This is not happy news because i know that MOC is planning to start charging the land line
    we will start to pay for our phone bills per minute

  79. Rosay says:

    Yea…Competition is what is missing in the country…
    We were forced to pay what was put on us and were burdened with unnecessary costs for the last few years !

    Take the example of India, a country with more than 10 Service providers , calls to mobile numbers are free under most plans or else charged at very low costs.(Around 1-2 Fils / Min) .SMS(Nationwide) and Incoming are always unlimited and free in the country !

    With more providers entering the market , we are benefited. Let’s wait and see what VIVA has in store for the country !!

  80. Teeman says:

    does that mean …that theres a bigger chance now for us guys to get the Push To Talk (PTT) service ?? O mother of AWESOMENESS!
    this “era” is so full off surprises !!!!!!!!

  81. BOBA says:

    Wataniya already introduced the PTT (push to talk) service a couple of years back, where were you guys?

  82. Not Dead Yet says:

    Teeman, Wataniya has had PTT for some time now, its not a new service in Kuwait

  83. KinD MaN says:

    ViVa Vs Zain
    Round 1

    walqadem mothehelon akthar

  84. vic03tim says:

    What I know that Viva started first offering the free phone calls for the receiver! that’s why Zain decided to do the same thing!!!

  85. Guys , This is an agreement between the three competitors in kuwait market , the timing of launching this services shows that they already agreed to kill the price, its very predictable thing, we were expecting this to happend sooner or later

  86. muscati says:

    This is something the country’s telecom regulator should have done a long time ago. They shouldn’t have allowed the operators to fleece users like this. I thought this stupidity of charging airtime regardless whether you were calling or receiving the call only happened in the US. Are there any other countries that do this?

  87. Zorbon says:

    Hey Mark,

    I doubt your update is true…Yesterday morning, I heard the VIVA radio ad, and I saw the Street Ads…I doubt all of this was conceived within 24 hours as a response to Zain…

  88. JoJo says:

    Now that we have said all of that :

    1- How are we sure that these compnies do not increase the cost of ” out-going ” calls by just turning up the knob of the Cost calculator to offset the lose of incoming calls ? Who is cotrolling this issue ? MOC ? I doubt it !

    2 I am sure thae charges for other services will go up

    3- Even competion is good & beneficial but to some extend .If it is not healthy competition then the Quality of service will suffer

  89. Sami says:

    The MIC already stated that the incoming calls will be free by the end of the year. Zain just took one step ahead and made it feel like she did it.

  90. Hayat says:

    I agree with Yousif I think this must have been an agreement since the timing of all the announcements coincide … we all know how long it takes to implement such campaigns in Kuwait and this was way too fast to have been an immediate reaction..especially since Wataniya responded in the same day (normally it would have been a month la)

  91. Telco Guru says:

    Hayat – There could never be an agreement between operators.
    Zain & Wataniya have been abusing the market for the past 10 years – They knew that VIVA will launch free incming calls, so they had to do something quick.

    By the way, Watniay was sending SMS to their customers – this takes 5 minutes of prearations! So wataniya was completely out of the loop! :)

  92. Nouf says:

    The VIVA billboards have been up for days. They say:

    “Free Incoming calls. Exclusively with Viva”

    So, obviously Viva was first as the billboards were all over 2 days before zains announcement. Zain must have seen the ‘Exclusively’ and taken all the ads in the papers the next day. Zains billboards havent changed, but they probably will very soon.

  93. pearls says:

    it was ridiculous from the start that zain was charging for all incoming calls!! taw elnass, wainhom min ziman …

  94. Mark says:

    Nouf, the billboards came up late night yesterday. They were not up for 2 days, everything happened yesterday.

  95. Azura says:

    Mark, please correct your update & post to give VIVA the credit it deserves for removing absurd charges the other two companies gladly charged us for 10 years.

    Otherwise, you have nothing to lose but your credibility with your audience, which I think should value more to you than the income from Zain’s banner.

  96. Mark says:

    This isn’t cnn or bbc where I have to try and hold back my personal views. This is a “personal” blog and it just so happens to be my personal blog which reflects my personal opinions. If you don’t agree with me thats fine you don’t have to.

  97. Telco Guru says:

    MarK, do you think Zain would have stopped incoming charges if VIVA wasn’t entering teh market ? :)

  98. TweeZ says:

    There is a telecom company called MOBILY and they started this trend first….worldwide for free!

  99. Mark says:

    Telco Guru: No I don’t, and to be honest if they did or didn’t it wouldn’t make a difference for me since the biggest problem I have is roaming charges and not incoming call charges. I would love it if Kuwait was part of the Zain One Network but sadly due to the restrictions by the MOI that isn’t going to happen anytime soon.

  100. Sam says:

    Hey guys,

    If Im not mistaken, MArk works for Zain’s advertising agency, so its only rational that he supports them. Its not wrong. It is a personal blog at the end of the day.

    As for the “who was first”, they all rang the bell at the same time.

  101. Mark says:

    Sam is right, I am in charge of Zain’s advertising so I am attached to the brand in a number of ways. I got my first Zain line in 1995 which is still my number today so I am very pro-zain. Plus, the fact that they advertise on my blog and that they are my clients at work only adds to that.

  102. Kataku says:

    If anyone from Zain is following this post, then please hear this…

    Do not think years of abusing your customers, providing mediocre service and charging unnecessary fees will be easily forgiven by waving a bunch of 9999999 or a cancellation of incoming call fees (Its even more pathetic to know both offers were made first by Viva). You’ve used us as a stepping stone into other markets and forgot those who made you what you are.

    Welcome Viva and good riddance Zain.

  103. Chan says:

    Wataniya and zain both r not deducting money.I want to know abt Viva customer care number as their website not at all opening.

    Kindly anybody post the customer care number of VIVA pls….

  104. bOs3ayD says:

    The three Telecom Companies announced free incoming charges on the same day! The day Viva was launched into the market. Do we think this is a coincidence? NOT
    They’ve been robbing us for the past decade until Viva came up and they were afraid to loose their customers.

    Viva La Viva

  105. 3arif says:

    Obama was campaigning for CHANGE in United States of America but the CHANGE has come to Kuwait !!!!

  106. BT says:

    sorry if this has already been posted…but does anybody know what the other services would cost at VIVa…like internet for example
    i saw the add with the 5 and @ sign comming out of it and the word free..hmmm

  107. Anonymous says:

    Don’t hate, just appreciate that mobile users are benefiting now. :)

  108. nyx says:

    Wait a minute! Some bird brain lame assed person mentioned that VIVA isnt Saudi? Says who? VIVA is a wholly owned Subsidairy of STC (Saudi Telecom Co). VIVA is in Kuwait on a 51-49% partnership will a local Kuwaiti Consortium. Otherwise VIVA will have to cough up 50% taxes annually based on their revenue!
    People please check your damn facts before barking your mouth off!

    Oh by the way… I am an ardent Zain afficionado! Zain – the finest!

  109. Khaled says:

    official announcement, is that Viva was first to allow free incoming calls international and land lines etc.. it also has the offer of a month of calling the saudi telecomunications company and aljawal for the price of a local all, viva to viva is currently free for 3 months and after three months u are charged for mins only after mins ts for free any other queswtions call 102 if ur lucky ill answer :P

  110. Khaled says:

    internet is a fils per kilbyte the usb is 50 and subscribtion will b 27 however the speed is 14,4 Mbs aswell all services will be up and working with thin these fewdays and u cannot reserve numbers now wait for weeks u might, as well you can pick up your numbers from any of the following branches any time within the next 4 weeks after this week

    Jahra: Slayal mall 10-10
    Manar Mall 10-10

    Airport 24hrs

    Marina Mall beneath Burgan Bank 10-10

    Exhibition grounds hall #8 10-10

    Al Kout MALL 10-10

    only you will not recieve your line from anywhere else and you can go whenever you wanat dont wait for a msg msg me for more info i should e able to answer your questions :D

  111. t2 says:

    i hope that this companies (zain-viva wataniya) will compete on the following: how to make the out going calls cheaper……….monthly internet charge is still big or huge money (27 kd per month)…..can you make it 7kd 0r 10 kd….and the last one the charge for sms,please make 10 fills or unlimited,because wataniya did this before(ifim not mistaken it was way back 1998-2000???) hey guysssss lets make this campaign,so we will be benifit for this,


  112. Kani says:

    ya7lailkom. if zain was first then tell me :

    laish ma 3enduhum raqem tarkhees 3ala their designs min wezarat il tejara ? o VIVA does ?

    because, it takes more time which zain did not have since they knew about VIVA’s offer very late.

    too late Zain.

  113. Mark says:

    You need raqem tarkhees for promotions, this isn’t a promotion…

  114. DIVA says:

    then what is it
    open baqalaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, Mo promotion
    ya mama , go play away
    zain strategy is to react on stealing VIVA promos all the way
    this info is from Zain insider hehe…
    ba3dain all the cost VIVA get goes to charity mo pockets!

  115. Kataku says:

    Why does viva have tarkhees then?

  116. Anonymous says:

    Charity mara wa7da? :/

  117. Thomas says:

    Every one’s misssing the big picture…. VIVA will make room for “international calls via the internet” aka skype or more….. on your compatible phones……LEGAL!!! wait for it…! If you can;t beat them, the government will definately join in!

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