Saudi Arabia to unblock internet calling apps

 20 Sep 2017 - 12:10

Saudi Arabia to unblock internet calling apps

AFP

Riyadh: Saudi Arabia will lift its ban on internet calling applications on Wednesday, authorities said, easing restrictions online as the conservative kingdom faces new criticism over censorship.

Voice and video calling apps such as WhatsApp and Skype will be "widely available to users", a government statement said Tuesday, in a move aimed at improving business confidence as the kingdom transitions into a post-oil era.

"Access to VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) will reduce operational costs and spur digital entrepreneurship," the statement said, citing a directive from the communications and technology ministry.

"Digital transformation is one of the key kick-starters for the Saudi economy, as it will incentivise the growth of internet-based businesses, especially in the media and entertainment industries."