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.

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Companies: skype

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Comments on “Egypt Says No More Mobile Skype Calls”

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John Martin (profile) says:

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.

Freedom says:

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?


mle says:

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.

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