In a move that will outrage archaeologists studying Egyptian pyramids who love using Skype to call those back home without exorbitant international carrier rates, Eqypt has implemented a ban on all mobile VoIP calls.
“The ban is on Skype on mobile internet, not on fixed, and this is due to the fact it is against the law since it bypasses the legal gateway,” said Amr Badawy, the executive president of the National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (NTRA).
Under Egyptian law, international calls must pass through a network controlled by majority state-owned Telecom Egypt, which this week reported disappointing earnings
“We are targeting any illegal voice traffic on the mobile (internet),” Badawy said, adding that the ban was communicated to the three mobile operators earlier this week. “Any traffic outside the international gateway is against the law.”
And as Mike Masnick from TechDirt notes, the distinction between mobile-vs-fixed internet connections is sketchy at best.
But what is the difference between the “mobile internet” and the “fixed internet” in real terms? If I use a laptop on a 3G connection… is that fixed or mobile? If I use a mobile phone on a WiFi connection connected to a DSL line, is that fixed or mobile? This just seems like a way to try to boost profits for the state owned telco with arbitrary rules.
What are your thoughts on this? Would you be up in arms if this happened in the United States?