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TRA lifts ban on VoIP calls

MUSCAT, MARCH 17 - The Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRA) has lifted restrictions over VoIP calls and allowed use of some apps which were hitherto prohibited in the country, in the wake of the present COVID-19 spread to facilitate better communication between agencies and government bodies.

Accordingly, VoIP apps such as Skype, Google Meet and Zoom App will be active from today and both citizens and residents can download and use the same during this ‘exceptional period’. According to a statement issued by the TRA, lifting restrictions on Skype and voice over Internet (VoIP) services would minimise the impact coronavirus could have.

“Due to the exceptional circumstances resulting from the spread of coronavirus, it has been decided to allow the use of some Internet communication applications such as Skype, VoiP, Google Meet and Zoom App. Organisations can use these applications during this exceptional period,” TRA said in a statement. “The government is concerned with facilitating business continuity and communication for government, private and educational sector institutions”, it added.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry decided to activate the remote working decision which was issued in 2017. The decision allows some employees to work from home in a bid to cut down on direct contact between employees and investors. The Ministry of Tourism had, earlier, asked all hotel establishments and other related facilities to halt all social gatherings including weddings, celebrations and other events in the halls and the interior and exterior spaces of hotel establishments as of ‪March 17.

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