Rabat - Skype, Whatsapp and Viber – immensely popular VoIP services that have been banned in Morocco for almost a year – have been fully restored, according to anonymous sources who spoke to Le360.
Rabat – Skype, Whatsapp and Viber – immensely popular VoIP services that have been banned in Morocco for almost a year – have been fully restored, according to anonymous sources who spoke to Le360.
The National Telecommunications Regulatory Agency (ANRT) sent letters to Maroc Telecom, INWI and Meditel on Thursday ordering them to allow Internet calling services to be functional again.
News of VoIP’s return to Morocco comes three days before the United Nations Convention of the Parties 22 (COP22) conference starts in Marrakesh.
Two weeks ago, ANRT’s former director, Azeddine El Mountassir Billah, was dismissed from his position without prior notice under unclear circumstances.
The regulator is current facing a lawsuit by a Moroccan citizen who claims the ban directly harmed him economically and personally. ANRT argues that consumers do not have the right to sue the agency because the users have not signed a contract with the government entity, as Moroccan telecom firms have.
The ban met fierce resistance from Moroccans living abroad when it was implemented in January. Over ten thousand citizens signed a petition calling on Head of Government Abdelilah Bekirane to lift the blockage.
Moroccan parents with dual citizenship in Western countries posted pictures that showed their children holding letters with a request to King Mohammed VI to intervene in ANRT’s decision.
A study by the American Center for Technological Innovation at the Brooking Institution last month revealed that the Morocco economy has lost $320 million as a direct result of the VoIP ban.