If you’re in a country where VoIP is blocked, it can make running a business in the modern world trickier. VoIP is an excellent tool that businesses can use to improve their communications with customers, as well as within the company among employees.
There are some countries that have banned the use of VoIP and it has left many people scratching their heads as to why exactly the services have been prohibited.
To learn more about what places block VoIP and the reasons why, check out the post below.
Guide to Why Governments May Block VoIP
Egypt is one of the better documented cases when it comes to the reasons for VoIP being banned in their country. Their reasoning for prohibiting VoIP services was because of revenue that had been lost.
It was the telecommunications companies in Egypt that suffered the most loss in revenue due to the more advanced technology available with VoIP services.
It’s not just VoIP services that have been banned either. For example, the Telecommunications Regulatory National Agency in Morocco banned VoIP calls that were conducted through social media websites and apps.
They justified this ban by stating that the licensing held by the VoIP calls via social media weren’t correct. Having said that, it has been widely speculated that the ban occurred because the telecommunications companies in Morocco were losing revenue quickly, with the rise of VoIP services.
The government and telecommunications companies feared that people would avoid using traditional texts and phone calls and replace them with VoIP services where they can send instant messages and make calls by using the internet.
When the large telecommunications companies lose revenue, the government was also losing out on money, which is why the band was so widely enforced.
Another country that blocked the use of VoIP features through social media apps is Brazil. They prevented users of WhatsApp being able to use the services across the country. These blocks were court ordered because Facebook (the owners of WhatsApp) didn’t provide the government with information for a criminal investigation.
Other telecommunications companies were subjected to a fine if they didn’t help with the criminal investigation. This lead to some controversy surrounding why the government completely blocked users from using WhatsApp altogether.
There were also legal issues with VoIP services in the U.S. Apple and WhatsApp were being questioned for not providing information to the government. The companies claimed that the information is protected under user privacy, which is one of the big principles that their businesses thrive on.
Many countries, such as Egypt and Morocco ban VoIP services because of telecommunications companies losing out on money. Alternatively, they’re banned due to not providing information in criminal cases.
However, other countries prevent the use of VoIP services as a way to try and create a monopoly in the industry.
Saudi Arabia is one of the countries where they block VoIP services on popular apps such as Skype and WhatsApp. One of the biggest controversies that arose from these blocks came from the fact that users weren’t provided with any notifications of when the ban was being put in place.
Millions of users use apps like Skype and WhatsApp to communicate with friends and family across the world. So, when they were completely prevented from being able to do so (unless they used traditional telecommunications services) it came as quite a shock.
However, this provided Saudi Arabia with a way to create an idea in people’s minds that VoIP services can’t be relied on when it comes to keeping in contact with friends and family in and out of the country.
As a result, the country hoped that it would lead to people returning back to traditional telecommunications services, which would boost their revenue and lead to more money for the government again.
Which Countries Currently Block VoIP Services?
Below, you can see some of the countries which have blocked VoIP services in some fashion either now or in the past. For a more complete list see this article.
- China – Blocks VoIP services and Skype
- Belize – Only allows VoIP services owned by the government
- Caribbean – Skype and VoIP services are blocked
- Jordan – VoIP and Skype are blocked
- Pakistan – Blocks VoIP
- North Korea – Blocks VooIP
- Kuwait – Skype and VoIP are blocked
- Mexico – Blocks VoIP services
- Oman – Blocks Skype and VoIP
- Israel – Blocks VoIP
- Qatar – Skype and VoIP are blocked
Many countries have blocked VoIP for some of the reasons mentioned in this post. Nearly 40% of countries around the world are blocked from using VoIP services.
VoIP can be used as a way for businesses to improve the way they run their daily tasks, which can make it a big downside when the services are prevented from being accessed altogether.
Many people are speculative as to whether some of these countries will unban VoIP services due to the kinds of monetary benefits that they’re able to experience.