Many Qatar residents had trouble reaching friends and family during the Eid holiday due to problems with internet call services such as Skype, Whatsapp, Viber and others.
Some told Doha News that they began having issues with the services earlier this week.
A few speculated that all VoIP (voice over internet protocol) services had been blocked in the country without warning.
Dear customers, we are sorry if you are experiencing quality issues while calling using VoIP applications. pic.twitter.com/7pKDvSXExM
— Ooredoo Qatar (@OoredooQatar) September 1, 2017
But in a series of tweets yesterday, Qatar telecom provider Ooredoo said that the “quality issues” did not come from its end.
“Dear customers, we are sorry if you are experiencing quality issues while calling using VoIP applications.”
Quality assurance for calling using these apps is out of Ooredoo’s control. However, we can guarantee that the issues are not from Ooredoo Super net. Eid Mubarak.”
And by the end of yesterday, many people said the services appeared to be up and running again.
It remains unclear why the services cut out in the first place.
In response to Ooredoo’s comments, some users pointed out that VoIP services worked on VPN and when using rival provider Vodafone.
— Fazil Akhtar (@fazilakhtar) September 1, 2017
Irresponsible Ooredoo. It's not one app malfunctioning on international calls. It's all of them and thus Ooredoo needs to answer questions
— Mahin Islam (@Lildevilmahin) September 1, 2017
Meanwhile, Qatar’s Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA) told the Gulf Times that it has launched an investigation into the issues.
This suggests that the connectivity problems are not due to government action.
Legally speaking, there are no laws or rules that prohibit VoIP services in Qatar, unlike in the UAE for example.
But according to the CRA’s website, no person or business can sell VoIP calls or services without a license. And currently, only Ooredoo and Vodafone are licensed to do this.
Did you have any VoIP problems this weekend? Thoughts?