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Morocco bans free mobile internet calls

Morocco bans free mobile internet calls

Morocco

Morocco has stopped calls made through mobile internet connections, the national regulator announced the move that could boost voice revenues for local telecom operators.

The ban on Skype, Viber and WhatsApp calls will apply to the three mobile operators in Morocco who offer internet access for computers via USB and other mobile modems, as well as via mobile phones.

Morocco is following other countries in the region such as Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.

Protests started few days ago on social media against the move with local media speculating whether security controls were behind the ban.

Morocco’s telecoms market is dominated by Maroc Telecom , majority owned by the UAE’s Etisalat, French group Orange’s local affiliate Medi Telecom (Meditel) and Wana Corporate, a subsidiary of the royal holding SNI.

Mobile phone market penetration is running at around 140 percent of Morocco’s 34 million population.

The country had 10 million internet subscribers by the end of 2015, up more than 60 percent from 2013.

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