Government of Saudi Arabia to Unblock Internet Calling Apps

Good news for those who are eager to use internet calling as the government has removed the ban from online video and calling apps like WhatsApp, Viber, and Skype.

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Abdullah Al-Sawaha, the Minister of Communications and Information Technology on Wednesday directed that apps that have met regulatory standards will be unblocked to allow users to easily access them within a week. Starting from September 20.


The ministry focuses on improving services to customers, both Saudi and non-Saudi, said the ministry and follows “Customer Comes First” policy. Al-Sawaha, is also the chairman of the board of the Communications and Information Technology Commission, stated that coordination efforts were ongoing with telecom providers to enable customers to access online voice and video call applications.


Al-Sawaha said, “It reflects our sustained efforts to provide users of telecom services in the Kingdom with the finest services that meet their expectations and needs.”


Zafar Hasan a software engineer from Riyadh said that it was a welcoming move by the government and described it as a

“very helpful initiative” for both citizens and expatriates, reflective of the commitment to ensure transparency and clarity in the delivery of the finest telecom services.”


“I came to know about the unblocking of the free Internet calls this morning while reading Arab News and am very excited to use these calling apps,”

he said. He further said, this initiative will certainly help in cutting down on calling costs for both local and international calls, and will also reduce the calling tariff.


Saquib Hamza, a recruitment executive from Dammam told Arab News:

“Expatriates from all around the globe are working in the Kingdom, doing business, and in this digital age when such free apps are available, it was painful to spend huge amounts on telephone bills. Most of the unskilled laborers were spending a lot on calls in order to speak to their family and friends — they will benefit most from this kind directive of the ministry.”


The corporate firms will also benefit largely as communication will now be easy and video conferencing will be convenient. The cost of international calls will be reduced greatly.

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