VoIP Services Banned After Junta’s Order in Burma
19 March 2011: Some Internet cafes in Burma are said to have stopped using communication via VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) calls following an order made by the Myanma Posts and Telecommunications (MPT) early this month.
MPT Managing Director, U Tint Lwin, said in a letter dated 2 March 2011 sent to Chairman of Myanmar Info-Tech Corp., Ltd that the Internet facilities with voice services should not be used in PACs (Public Access Centres) and cyber cafes in the country as they are financially affecting services run by MPT.
“The use of these services are not legal under the existing telecommunication laws and legal actions could be taken if the PACs and cyber cafes continue to make them available for use to the public,” stressed U Tint Lwin.
A Chin Internet user in Rangoon told Chinland Guardian: “We can still use the VoIP services at some Internet cafes even though some others have actually told us that the services are not available any more.”
Making a call through Google Talk was not currently possible in Thantlang town, according to a local user yesterday, who added: “We are not really sure about the reasons but it could possibly be due to a usual ‘bad’ internet connection.”
It is claimed that a warning statement was issued by Myanmar Info-Tech Corp. Ltd soon after the letter sent to them by MPT but no Internet cafes and PACs have said of receiving such letters.
An Internet Cafe owner in Hakha Town said: “We have heard from rumours about this new restriction but no official warning letter as such has been given to us so far.”
It will really affect our services if the new restriction is imposed as most of our customers use the VoIP calls to keep in touch with their families and friends living not only abroad but also in other places in the country, the local Internet Cafe owner in Hakha added.
Van Biak Thang