Egypt acts to ban VoIP

Ban will focus on mobile devices, while VoIP over fixed connections will be "tolerated".

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Egypt acts to ban VoIP The NTRA will "tolerate" access to VoIP via fixed internet connections, but not on mobile devices.
By Staff Writer Published  March 17, 2010

Egypt's telecom regulator, the National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (NTRA), has clamped down on the use of VoIP services via mobile broadband.

Khaled Hegazy, external affairs director for Vodafone told Egypt's Daily News that the NTRA had decided to enforce legislation banning VoIP services.

It is thought that the ban applied to all three mobile operators in Egypt: Mobinil, Vodafone Egypt and Etisalat Misr, although it is not yet known which of the operators have already implemented the ban.

Hegazy told the paper that while the NTRA would continue to tolerate the use of Skype over fixed internet connections, whether dial-up or Wifi, it would enforce the ban on Skype - and possibly other VoIP services - over mobile devices.

"Using the internet to bypass international phone services is not legal in Egypt, and the regulator [NTRA] has said that all mobile phone companies must stop allowing voice services over an IP address. [...] This is not something new, but [mobile providers] weren't required to enforce it until recently," he told the paper.

The news follows closely from a new ruling by the UAE's TRA to relax the country's ban on the ability of the country's licenced operators to offer VoIP services, a move which fell far short of allowing internet users access to services such as Skype.

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