All three telecommunication service providers in Morocco have blocked free mobile internet calls in a sudden and unexpected move.
The block, which covers applications such as Skype, Viber, Facebook and WhatsApp calls, has been criticized by social media users across the country who have accused telecommunication service providers of being greedy.
Maroc Telecom, Meditel, and Inwi cut Voice over IP (VoIP) services without any notice in what has been described by one Moroccan columnist as a “legal” but “irrational and backward step”.
Morocco’s Telecommunications Regulatory National Agency (ANRT) said that none of the products providing VoIP or other ‘free internet calls’ had the required licenses.
“In addition of the losses for the telecoms national market, the free internet voice calls do not respond to the required legal gateway,” said ANRT in a statement on Thursday evening.
“Their suspension (VoIP) came in conformity with the operators’ obligations that were underlined in their licences.”
There are 10 million internet users in Morocco with Skype, WhatsApp and Viber being among the most used applications in the country.