Recently, there has been talk of banning Whatsapp in Arab countries. Whatsapp is an Over-the-Top (OTT) messaging application, which has proven to be very popular with users. Rumours surfaced in Oman suggesting the country might block Whatsapp. But a recent statement from Oman’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), published in the Oman Daily Observer cleared that rumour.
Hilal O Siyabi; “We have no plans of banning any mobile application or social network at the moment. The authority will take appropriate action as and when it is needed.” — Hilal O Siyabi, manager of International Relations and Media Department, TRA
The statement has certainly clarified there would be no ban, at least for now, but implied that action could be taken if the need arose.
Only recently, Saudi Arabia had issues with Whatsapp authorities. Saudi Arabia’s Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) recently threatened to block Whatsapp if they do not follow the telecom regulator rules.
Applications and their troubles
Whatsapp is not the only application that has been under the spotlight, other applications such as Viber is blocked in Saudi Arabia. According to reports Skype might be the next victim. Both of them are VoIP (Voice over IP) services, which allow free calls.
Whatsapp issues hail from a financial perspective as it has decreased the number of text messages sent, causing financial losses for the telecom companies.