JEDDAH: ARAB NEWS
Published — Monday 1 April 2013
Last update 14 April 2013 11:35 pm
The Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) has warned of appropriate measures if providers of Internet messenger applications such as Skype, WhatsApp and Viber fail to comply with its rules.
These applications allow text and audio communication over the Internet. Some telecom applications over the Internet protocol currently do not meet the regulatory conditions in the Kingdom, according to the commission. The CITC said in a statement, carried by the SPA, that it encourages companies to provide the latest services, but these services should meet the requirement of the licenses issued to them and protect the privacy of the users.
The commission told service providers to work with the developers of such applications to “quickly meet the regulatory conditions.”
Mobile penetration was 188 percent by the end of 2012, CITC data shows. Saudi Arabia now has 15.8 million Internet subscribers and the average user watches three times as many online videos per day as counterparts in the US, according to YouTube.
In the UAE, most Skype applications and Viber calls are blocked, but WhatsApp messenger remains accessible.