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Ban on Internet calls to be lifted in Saudi Arabia

Audio, video calls will be available starting next Wednesday: Minister

  • The Dubai Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department has issued a fatwa against using Wi-Fi without Image Credit: Supplied
  • VoIP will only be allowed for four companies: Etisalat, du, Yahsat and ThurayaImage Credit: Oliver Clarke/ Gulf News

Manama: Internet voice and video calling applications, including WhatsApp, Skype, and Viber will be available in Saudi Arabia as the ban will be officially lifted.

The block on the access to the voice call applications will be removed on Wednesday, Abdullah Al Sawaha, minister of communications and information technology, said.

Coordination between the Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) and the telecom service providers is underway to enable Saudi nationals and expatriates to benefit from applications that provide voice and video calls over the Internet and that will be in compliance with the requirements, Al Sawaha also chairman of the CITC, the Kingdom’s telecom regulator, said.

He added that the service providers have confirmed their commitment to enable all customers to use the applications to make voice and video calls of the highest quality and that they will review all applications in orde to meet the requirements periodically, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

 “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,” Al Sawaha was quoted as saying.