The holder of Saudi Arabia’s second licence says its customer numbers are “still confidential”.

Earlier this year, the Communications & Information Technology Commission, which regulates the sector, told the country’s two mobile network operators that they would have to disclose full customer numbers from July.

Etihad Etisalat, which trades under the Mobily brand, was expected to announce a fall in its number of customers because the regulator says it can only count customers who have paid for a phone call or a text message in the past three months.

Previously, Mobily counted everyone who had used its services since it launched in 2005.

At the end of last year, the company said it had 11.1 million customers. In June, Etihad Etisalat spokesman Hamoud al-Ghobaini said the company would report “several million” fewer customers when it announced its April-to-June results (MEED 27:6:08).

The company’s net profits climbed 47 per cent to SR693m ($122m) from revenues of SR2.5bn in the second quarter.