We have spent billions on getting a telecom licence in Qatar, but our business is affected by illegal services like VoIP. We know it’s a boon for expatriates but it is illegal. It is time that ictQatar intervened and found ways to stop its use.
-Richard Daly, outgoing Vodafone Qatar CEO, who on Monday lambasted the widespread use of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) here, calling it a threat to telecom companies, as quoted in the Qatar Tribune.
When asked by journalists whether Qatar should follow the UAE’s lead and ban VoIP calls (including via Skype and Vonage) altogether, Daly said:
“All we want is that our business should not be affected by service providers who are not legal.”
According to a 2008 statement clarifying the government’s position on VoIP, ictQatar said the technology, which allows people to make telephone calls over the internet, is not prohibited in Qatar. But it added:
The Telecommunications Law 34 of 2006 does, however, make it illegal for any person to provide telecommunications services to the public for a direct or indirect fee without a license issued by ictQATAR for that purpose.
Apparently, those who do offer such services, whether based here or abroad, are formidable competition to the two licensed telecom providers here, Ooredoo and Vodafone.
Thoughts on this?
Credit: Photo by Dan Correia