According to Reuters:
"The ban will apply to the three mobile operators in Egypt -- Mobinil, Etisalat Egypt and Vodafone Egypt -- who offer internet access for computers via USB and other mobile modems, as well as via mobile phone."
"The ban is on Skype on mobile internet, not on fixed, and this is due to the fact it is against the law since it bypasses the legal gateway," said Amr Badawy, the executive president of the National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (NTRA).
Under Egyptian law, international calls must pass through a network controlled by majority state-owned Telecom Egypt, which this week reported disappointing earnings.
While only mentioning Skype by name, Badawy did not rule out extending the ban to other services in the future.
"We are targeting any illegal voice traffic on the mobile (internet)," Badawy said, adding that the ban was communicated to the three mobile operators earlier this week. "Any traffic outside the international gateway is against the law."
What's interesting is that according to the article, the NTRA had "tolerated" mobile internet telephony until they recently saw a drop in international call volumes. They then pushed them to tell Egypt's operators to enforce the ban. apparently, the United Arab Emirates said on Monday it would not yet give VoIP licenses to international companies like Skype. Is there any free market competition in the Middle East?
Free market enterprise (competition) vs. Government controlled (monopoly)
Reminds me of this contentious debate:
Free market enterprise in healthcare vs. Government controlled healthcare
Glad I live in America where the majority of Americans still support free market enterprise. After all, who is it that works at the these enterprises? We do! We the People do. I love it how some 'spin' it as the big evil corporations. So are the people who work there 'evil'? Granted, corporations can be greedy, but at least they're greedy with their own money. They at least try to be the most profitable by keeping costs down and running efficiently. Government on the other hand, which spends "other people's money" via tax dollars, is notoriously bad at keeping costs down and running a tight ship. The Pentagon spent $600 on a toilet seat and $750 for a hammer. You really think government-run healthcare will cut costs?
Truly, I want to believe my government can help the needy and uninsured - who doesn't feel for someone who can't afford health insurance? But I fear they'll screw it up, just like every other major entitlement program, including Social Security going bankrupt, Medicare going bankrupt, and Medicaid going bankrupt.
Heck, just today, Walgreens announced no more Medicaid patients as of April 16th, because "filling their prescriptions is a money-losing proposition." That is the future under ObamaCare!
There is no utopia where everyone gets healthcare... there is no unlimited tax revenue... there is no unlimited printing of American dollars to pay for this.
I say we do healthcare reform, but sensible reform. Start with these 3 things:
1) Allow purchasing of insurance across state lines. This will increase competition and drive costs down.
2) Malpractice Tort reform. Frivolous lawsuits will cause the suing party to pay the defendant's lawyer fees. They'll think twice about trying to make a free buck.
3) Offer up to a $5000 tax credit if you purchase health insurance.
Ok, I'm going to end my rant now. Let's end on a positive note...
Go democracy! Go free market enterprise! Go mobile VoIP. Go Egypt hackers to enable mobile VoIP freedom!