Saudi Arabia to lift ban on WhatsApp, Skype calling

Published: September 14, 2017
Email
Saudi men explore social media on their mobile devices as they sit at a cafe in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 24, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

Saudi men explore social media on their mobile devices as they sit at a cafe in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 24, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

Saudi Arabia announced, on Wednesday, that they are lifting the ban Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) voice and video calling services including Skype, WhatsApp and Viber effective from next week.

You can be fined $545,000 for using a VPN in UAE

Abdullah Al Sawaha, Minister for communications and information technology and the chairman of the Kingdom’s telecom regulator, said the decision is taken to enable customers, including citizens and expatriates, to benefit from applications that provide voice and video call apps, according to the Saudi Press Agency.

VoIP apps such as Skype, Viber and WhatsApp are banned in the Kingdom.

“This fruitful cooperation between the Kingdom’s telecom partners comes under the umbrella of ‘Customer First’, a policy in which everyone works in order to give all telecom subscribers in the Kingdom the best services that meet their expectations and satisfy their needs,” he said.

WhatsApp video, voice call features blocked in UAE again

The Kingdom, considered one of the world’s fastest growing countries in terms of growth in the use of smart phones, has the highest average use of Internet by mobile networks globally.

With Saudi’s National Transformation Program of 2020 and the Kingdom’s Vision of 2030, this surely seems a step to open up their digital market.

This article originally appeared on Saudi Gazette.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (1)

  • Ashraf P
    Sep 14, 2017 - 4:59PM

    Before long, Saudis won’t be able to afford phone calls. WhatsApp and Skype is what will sustain them. Maybe that state of affairs has already set in. Recommend

More in World