Egypt Drops Ban on Internet Long Distant Telephone Calls
Egypt’s ministry of communication and information lift on Saturday a ban on making Internet-based telephone calls, reported the weekly Middle East Times.
The ministry, said the paper, will allow Telecom Egypt, the national monopoly to provide voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) services.
Egypt Telecom is already offering the service on its web site, and users can download the software and instruction manual from the corporate site. Other companies will continue to be banned from offering the service, despite the difficulty in enforcing the ban.
The Egyptian government has been losing revenue to private companies that offer the service, which can be installed on home computers, said the weekly.
"I think that's the best way to do it: if you can't beat them, join them," said Ahmad Nassif, Egypt's minister of communication and information technology.
State-owned telecommunication companies have been fighting a losing battle to stop the increasing use of home computers to make long distance calls.
Egypt Telecom relies heavily on the revenue that long distance phone calls bring into the company, close to $2.5 billion a year – Albawaba.com
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