Bahrain studies VoIP regulation options

26 Jun 2013

The Kingdom of Bahrain is considering introducing regulations governing the use of voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP) applications, including technologies for delivering voice communications and multimedia sessions over the internet, reports Gulf News. Potentially, regulation could affect popular internet-based (‘over-the-top’) voice/messaging applications such as Skype, WhatsApp, Viber and Tango, which have come under scrutiny and even been banned from usage on mobile networks in certain Middle Eastern countries. Sheikh Fawaz bin Mohammad al-Khalifa, Bahrain’s Minister of State for Communications, said of the proposals: ‘The measures are meant to guarantee there is no clash with traditions and customs in addition to security considerations… They are part of the efforts exerted by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to ensure the existence of regulations that preserve the rights of operators and that there is no abuse of communication applications.’