EghtesadOnline: Local telecoms firms will have to file for bankruptcy if Telegram messenger’s telephone service is unblocked, according to the minister of communications and information technology.
Mahmoud Vaezi told reporters “If the service gets unblocked, [Iran’s largest landline operator] Telecommunication Company of Iran (TCI) and the three major mobile operators [MCI, MTN-Irancell and RighTel] will have to pull down their shutters,” local technology website ICTNA reported.
Telegram messenger, the most popular communications app in Iran, launched its voice calling service on April 13.
A few days later the service was banned by judicial order, Financial Tribune reported.
While Vaezi says financial considerations led to the decision to block the service, local mobile operators have denied any role in the judiciary’s diktat.
Voice over Internet Protocol (also Voice over IP, VoIP or IP telephony), the service being offered by Telegram and others, is the delivery of voice communications and multimedia sessions over the Internet.
The service enables users to decrease costs of communication significantly, since the money paid for Internet usage is significantly less than the cost of paying for direct phone calls.
Whatsapp, another messaging app owned by Facebook, has offered both voice and video calling for over a year, that service is not blocked in Iran.
Meanwhile, Skype, which recently overhauled its software to work on mobile phones can do the same.
Despite the fact that they are not blocked, both services have not become the de facto messaging application in the country.
Recently Iranian officials said that the telecoms ministry is negotiating with Telegram to move the servers of the service into Iran, however, the company’s founder and CEO, Pavel Durov has denied the claims both on his Tweeter account and Telegram channel.