13 July 2009

Long Distance Calling Cards or Ban VoIP services which convert GSM signal into VoIP
Voip is generally blocked in the UAE. It used to work until about 9 months or so ago..
since then Etisalat has agressivly blocked the service... even Skype doesn't work.

Voice over Internet Protocol, also called VoIP, IP Telephony, Internet telephony, Broadband telephony, Broadband Phone and Voice over Broadband is the routing of voice conversations over the Internet or through any other IP-based network.

When the world is moving towards a FREE VOIP/Telephone world, asian countries are trying to reverse the trend and balance is out. Countries such as India, Bangladesh have already put in restrictions on VOIP and going to tighten it further to restrict free voip growth.

To add to this growing list of "VOIP Blacklisted" countries, UAE had declared to ban all free voip calls in Dubai Free internet zone. uulfnews report says, " From next month internet users in Dubai's free zones will be barred from calling phone lines from their PCs using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) in an apparent change of heart by the UAE's telecom regulator." EITC, which operates under the brand name du, said the block covers all free zones and all calls from PC to fixed or mobile phone using the public internet
It merits mentioning here that through illegal exchanges, international or overseas calls are converted into VoIP, and by using Internet medium the calls were transmitted to Pakistan where the illegal gateway exchanges containing mobile SIMs/IMSIs, were installed. These internet packages are then converted back to GSM signals (using Telenor, Warid, Zong, Mobilink, Ufone SIMs) and transmitted to destination telephone numbers. It appeared to the recipients that calls were coming from local mobile telephone numbers.

VoIP has become an important technology for phone services to travelers, migrant workers and expatriate, who either, due to not having a fixed or mobile phone or high overseas roaming charges, choose instead to use VoIP services to make their phone calls. Pre-paid phone cards can be used either from a normal phone or from Internet cafes that have phone services. Developing countries and areas with high tourist or immigrant communities generally have a higher uptake.

We had this news reported by “The News”, couple of weeks ago that FIA Raided and seized 3 illegal exchanges from F 11, Islamabad.We are told by reliable sources that these exchanges were being run by a Chinese group, which had Mr. Xu Kun as a member. Xu Kun was assistant to CEO, Zong, China Mobile for last one year.

He said that the original overseas telephone numbers were masked. Some individuals /firms in China, Europe and USA/Canada were engaged in selling overseas calls/cards at flouted rates and were making payments to these foreign nationals into their bank accounts abroad, as their shares to run the illegal business in Pakistan.

He said that they have been using hundreds of SIMs of Mobilink, Telenor, Warid, and Zong for the purpose. They obtained these SIMs in the name of Chinese nationals and companies operating in Pakistan (including M/s Yinghua International (Pvt) Ltd. and M/s Teamsun technology Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd).

The FIA director general said that the matter has also been referred to Interpol for initiating action against their associates abroad and freezing their accounts in various foreign banks. According to PTA estimate, the culprits caused wrongful loss to the national exchequer to the tune of Rs600 million for the last six months. Further investigation is under process and efforts are being made to arrest other culprits.


ahsan said...

hmmm Looks to be a cool service.


Unshackled said...

Some great, informed points here on IP telephony.