Saudi to unblock voice, video calling apps

The regulator is working with telecoms providers to enable services from the middle of next week



Saudi Arabia will unblock the voice and video calling functions of apps such as WhatsApp, Skype and Viber from next week.

The kingdom’s minister of communications and information technology, Abdullah bin Amer Al-Sawahah, said the Communications and Information Technology Commission and telecoms service providers were coordinating to enable the services.

All users will be able to use applications to make the highest quality voice and video calls and the applications will be “reviewed periodically” to meet the requirements, according to the official.

The ban will be lifted on Wednesday, September 20.

“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,” said Al-Sawahah.

The regulator has recently been seeking to raise the level of “transparency and clarity” in the sector through measures including a quarterly index of complaints made to telecom providers.

Several other initiatives are planned under the goal of developing a digital society as part of the Vision 2030 reforms.

Voice and video calling applications remain blocked in other Gulf countries, with the UAE moving to block Skype in June.

Read: UAE blocks Skype amid internet calling uncertainty

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