Zain customers who visit these countries will be charged at their local rates for voice calls, text messages and voicemail. The service, which Zain calls the One Network, will give it a price advantage over rivals which operate in several Middle Eastern country.

Etisalat, the UAE telecoms company, operates networks in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, but customers have to pay international rates when roaming.

Qtel, the Qatari operator, also charges international rates when its customers use its networks in Algeria, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar and Tunisia.

However, Zain cannot introduce the service in Lebanon or its home market of Kuwait as it does not control the international gateway for telecoms traffic in those two countries.