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No charges on online calling apps — telecom commission

By Mohammad Ghazal - May 16,2016 - Last updated at May 16,2016

AMMAN — No charges will be imposed in Jordan on the use of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services such as Skype and Viber, the Telecommunications Regulatory on Commission (TRC) said Monday.

The TRC, which started looking into possible plans by telcos to start charging users for using such apps, said it held a meeting on Monday with CEOs of the country's three mobile operators and it was decided that no fees will be imposed on the use of VoIP services.

“The TRC council of commissioners held a meeting with the CEO of Zain Jordan, Orange Jordan and Umniah… The meeting ended with a decision not to impose any fees on VoIP services,” the TRC said in a statement to The Jordan Times.

VoIP enables people to use the Internet as the transmission medium for voice calls. It is used in applications such as Viber, Skype and WhatsApp. 

According to estimates by experts in the field, there are more than 3 million WhatsApp users in Jordan.

Experts have repeatedly stressed that it is difficult and unrealistic to impose fees on such services as there are technological solutions to bypass any blockage and many alternatives of these apps online.

Several social media activists have been leading online campaigns to protest against any plans to impose fees on such apps, after reports said the Kingdom's telcos were considering the move.

 

By the end of 2015, there were 13.7 million mobile subscriptions in the Kingdom, in addition to 7.9 million Internet users, according to the TRC.

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