This year, police in the Arab nation of Oman have raided 121 internet cafes throughout the country and arrested 212 people for providing VoIP services, according to a local report. "Around 212 accused of various Asian nationalities have been arrested since the beginning of the year [until October 26]," a senior police officer …
Sounds like the big boots at Omantel are playing their Wasta card again and hitting the poorer workers trying to call home without being ripped off. It is only a matter of time before this restriction is removed. Meanwhile everyone who can afford their own computer uses VPN services to circumvent this restriction.
not for me thanks.
Wow, they take their monopolistic cartels seriously over there. Remind me never to visit.
Not just Oman
Oman's not special. Other Middle Eastern countries also try to prevent anyone from using anything other than the state phone service, and therefore ban VOIP.
@Not just Oman
Agreed. On a recent trip to Dubai I wanted a 3G PAYG dongle - they wanted £150 for the dongle and £50 for the SIM. It was like being back in the nineties.
Amazing how they enforce (what in th UK would be) minor civil telephony regs, using criminal legal instruments. Populism it ain't.
Still I wish similarly booted and suited riot police had had a word or two with the Crazy Frog ringtone people back in the day, rather than ICSTIS, they of toothlessness renown.
Is it protectionism or
is it something to do with the fact that VOIP is encrypted and they can't listen in.
@ Is it protectionism or #
Bingo! The ROP take the risk of terrorism in the Sultanate very seriously..... Skype doesn't work there unless you establish a VPN connection back to the UK. As for jail terms, the law is reasonably clear (get caught running a red light, spend a night in a cell, get caught running VOIP services.... Worse).
There isn't a monopoly as such there (the local telco has mobile competition).
"Obnoxious yer honor, they're creating a market for our services where we can't fix the prices. Burn them, burn them!" How about Oman just skipped that shit and entered the 20th century? The 21st may be too much to ask for...