Egypt Says No More Mobile Skype Calls

from the can't-route-around dept

Egypt has apparently decided that it doesn't like the idea of people making mobile phone calls that it can't track and/or that the state-owned telco can't make money off of. So it's banning all mobile VoIP calls. Apparently "fixed" VoIP calls are okay, which gets a bit confusing:
"The ban is on Skype on mobile internet, not on fixed, and this is due to the fact it is against the law since it bypasses the legal gateway," said Amr Badawy, the executive president of the National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (NTRA).

Under Egyptian law, international calls must pass through a network controlled by majority state-owned Telecom Egypt, which this week reported disappointing earnings.
But what is the difference between the "mobile internet" and the "fixed internet" in real terms? If I use a laptop on a 3G connection... is that fixed or mobile? If I use a mobile phone on a WiFi connection connected to a DSL line, is that fixed or mobile? This just seems like a way to try to boost profits for the state owned telco with arbitrary rules.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Blatant Coward (profile), Mar 23rd, 2010 @ 1:38am

    This just in...

    In a follow up interview National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (NTRA) released the following guideline. "If what you are doing does not make us money, it is illegal, and your mother would be very ashamed."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    mike allen (profile), Mar 23rd, 2010 @ 2:09am

    interesting

    must get skype on my mobile before the Digital econimy bill becomes law in UK

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    icon
    John Martin (profile), Mar 23rd, 2010 @ 2:30am

    mobile monitoring

    Egypt is also really interested in not having international communications which originate inside the country that are not able to be monitored, particularly on the mobile networks. Mobile traffic is monitored in Egypt. That is the primary reason for this ban. People have been using Skype and other VoIP for a long time in Egypt, but it has only been in the past several years that the mobile networks have been capable of supporting it, and its use is at an all-time high right now.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    icon
    Haywood (profile), Mar 23rd, 2010 @ 3:38am

    Sounds unenforceable

    If the problem is that they can't track it, what is to stop anyone from just doing it anyhow. When Skype is outlawed only outlaws will have Skype

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    icon
    Txknight (profile), Mar 23rd, 2010 @ 4:53am

    Not new

    The same is true in Korea, Skype is not allowed there, but folks still use it

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Mle, Mar 23rd, 2010 @ 4:56am

    No it's pretty easy to understand

    If you are using 3g to connect to the Internet , no skype (paying mobile company for Internet)
    If the Internet is coming fom a fixed landline, even if it goes through wifi router- skype ok. (paying dsl company for Internet)

    It's pretty straight foward, even if the reasoning behind it is not.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Freedom, Mar 23rd, 2010 @ 5:29am

    Yeah ... but...

    >> It's pretty straight foward, even if the reasoning behind it is not.

    Okay, how about this?

    What if I use my 3G connection via a VPN Tunnel to my office which then goes out via a hard line?

    What if I'm connected to a land line but I VPN over to a router that uses 3G ultimately for Internet/VoIP traffic?

    Freedom

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    KEYBORED, Mar 23rd, 2010 @ 5:29am

    Re: This just in...

    Excellent comment. Very funny.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Premjith, Mar 23rd, 2010 @ 5:40am

    Just seems in future

    Skype is very pretty straight foward...interesting to be that a 3G connection need that

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    bob, Mar 23rd, 2010 @ 5:58am

    Ten Dollars A Minute

    That's what I paid a few times in a couple of places overseas back in the 80's and early 90's, I would have loved Skype back then.

    I can see why the official state owned Egyptians would be upset by it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    mle, Mar 23rd, 2010 @ 6:00am

    Re: Yeah ... but...

    Based on what I know about this

    3g to vpn to hardline- ok, as the data would appear as regular traffic, not VOIP to the ISP.

    Is the 3g router inside the country or outside? Inside Egypt probably not ok, outside, most likely ok, because Egyptian mobile companies really have no say over your use of other country's 3g network.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2010 @ 6:05am

    Egypt is a police state.

    Egypt is a police state, pure and simple.
    Apparently they don't have the tech to monitor Voip over 3g, sucks to be them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Mar 23rd, 2010 @ 6:50am

    and of course ....

    Of course there will be an escalation and someone will write an app to replace skype that you cant tell is VOIP. Every mobile phone today has an SDK for app development. Making this ban worthless in the long run.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Sir William Wallace, Mar 23rd, 2010 @ 1:06pm

    Freedom!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 24th, 2010 @ 12:26am

    Another player see it's lunch being eaten by technological progress so stifle that progress by all means necessary. God forbid companies should actually have to innovate instead of running to the courts when the world makes things that they don't like.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Pool Tables For Sale, Dec 18th, 2010 @ 7:43pm

    Re: Yeah ... but...

    Yeah, a little bit confusing between mobile internet and fixed internet.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Rene, Dec 28th, 2013 @ 11:39pm

    vpn rules

    I have used vpnservice for a long time and it works fine in my mobile and also computer

    http://strongvpn.com/aff/scripts/click.php?a_aid=skype&a_bid=ca14b048&chan=skype

    Easy installation and nice support.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This