WhatsApp Faces Regulatory Hurdles Launching Voice Service
Published on: 13th Mar 2014
By: Ian Mansfield
Oman's telecoms regulator has warned that plans by the OTT app WhatsApp to offer voice calls over its service will still need regulatory approval.
Just after the announcement of its USD19 billion acquisition by Facebook, the messaging app announced plans to offer voice calls as well as text messages.
The service will almost certainly be VoIP based which could put the company into regulatory facedown in a number of countries that ban such services, or at least tightly regulate them.
"It depends on the technology and how they are going to implement in Oman. We will take a call once they launch their services," a senior TRA official said, when contacted by Times of Oman.
"The companies' regulations should meet the conditions related to the national security requirements of the Telecommunication Regulating Policy," the official added. "The provider of the service should confirm all the legal requirements."
It's not clear what would happen if the service launched without approval, but some regulators have in the past attempted to block unregulated VoIP services from working.
On the web: Times of Oman