VoIP in Qatar

Old Sep 11th 2018, 7:24 am
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Default VoIP in Qatar

Does anybody know what's the deal with VoIP in Qatar? I'm contemplating a move to Doha and was under the impression all works just fine, but I'm reading an increasing amount of reports stating that either one of the ISPs have been blocking some of the apps (like Facetime or Whatsapp) similarly to UAE. Can anybody on the ground confirm?

Thanks!
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Old Sep 11th 2018, 11:55 am
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Default Re: VoIP in Qatar

Until fairly recently VoIP services worked pretty well, but there has been a crackdown and many are now blocked. VPN is your friend, but the cheaper more popular VPNs dont always solve the problem.
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Old Sep 11th 2018, 8:49 pm
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Default Re: VoIP in Qatar

Originally Posted by fezzer View Post
Until fairly recently VoIP services worked pretty well, but there has been a crackdown and many are now blocked.
Thanks fezzer! Are all VoIP services blocked (like in the UAE) or depending on the service? Specifically, does FaceTime work? As I would have thought Apple updated their support page [support.apple.com/en-gb/HT204042], but all looks normal there.

Originally Posted by fezzer View Post
VPN is your friend, but the cheaper more popular VPNs dont always solve the problem.
Are VPNs legal in Qatar?
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Old Sep 12th 2018, 1:46 am
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Default Re: VoIP in Qatar

This is only what I know as of today, tomorrow could be very different but as of now most VoIP call and video services are disrupted. The IMO app is one that has to date remained unaffected and does work quite well. You'll find a lot of Filipinos use it. Acess to a lot of VPN service providers home and signup pages are blocked though you can usually access them through a free web based vpn such as hotspot shield.
I use ExpressVPN having found its service generally very good and its multi protocol support means I can access things like BBC iPlayer which some of the simpler PPTP only services don't play well with. I think an annual Exress VPN account is about $100 and you can have 3 active connections so phone, laptop and her phone. This has provided pretty much all we have needed and allows for uninterrupted anytime voice or video calling. Generally we use WhatsApp or LINE as these are what most of our contacts are also using. Facetime also works well with Express VPN. As I said though, IMO has until now worked in Doha without a VPN.

The legality thing is not something I know anything about and it could well be utterly wrong to use these services. My analysis of the risk is that it is minimal and far below what my personal benefit is. I don't know but I would presume that if anyone feared the use of VPN's for whatever reason they would be no harder to block in real terms than unacceptable websites or telecom services. That they are not says to me it's not a problem.

Get a good VPN, it's worth it, or switch to something like IMO which at least for now seems trouble free.
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Old Sep 12th 2018, 10:25 am
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Default Re: VoIP in Qatar

Originally Posted by martinbkk View Post
Get a good VPN, it's worth it, or switch to something like IMO which at least for now seems trouble free.
Sure, VPN is a no brainer, will definitely get one. But I'd rather use my phone without it to save the hassle of connecting/disconnecting the VPN depending on what I have to do or create a "managed" account on iOS.

Originally Posted by martinbkk View Post
This is only what I know as of today, tomorrow could be very different but as of now most VoIP call and video services are disrupted.
Where may I find the relevant info? Is there a website of the Ministry of Telecom I could gather some information? Twitter seems to be full of complains, but only to Vodafone and Ooredo, which I'm guessing have no control over it...
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Old Sep 13th 2018, 2:25 am
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Default Re: VoIP in Qatar

Originally Posted by kiribarry View Post
Sure, VPN is a no brainer, will definitely get one. But I'd rather use my phone without it to save the hassle of connecting/disconnecting the VPN depending on what I have to do or create a "managed" account on iOS.
I leave the VPN running on my phone continuously, no need to switch it off, I've never seen any performance issues from having it run all the time.


Originally Posted by kiribarry View Post
Where may I find the relevant info? Is there a website of the Ministry of Telecom I could gather some information? Twitter seems to be full of complains, but only to Vodafone and Ooredo, which I'm guessing have no control over it...
Vodafone and Ooredo do as they are told. The people that tell them what to do don't advertise so all you are going to get is conjecture and hearsay. What I "know" is based on what I find from trying different things added to the knowledge base from a lot of others who just complain about it.

There could well be a simpler business case though. Voice call revenue has apparently fallen dramatically in the last few years with the increased use of these "free" voice call apps that use data. If the pricing structures are significantly different it could be that the service providers have jointly decided to try and limit losses by forcing the less tech savvy to revert to other calling methods which have a higher value for the companies involved.
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