Australia markets closed

Oman lifts restrictions on secure video chats

Christine Fisher
Contributing Writer
Angelo D'Amico via Getty Images

In an effort to help businesses and schools function remotely, Oman is lifting restrictions on some video calling services. Its Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) tweeted that it will allow Skype for Business, Google Meet and Zoom, so that organizations can better communicate "during this exceptional period."

Oman is notorious for blocking video calling services, FaceTime included, because they are encrypted and therefore difficult to track. Those services also compete with domestic telecom providers. While some encrypted chat apps occasionally sidestep those restrictions, they are rare.

In addition to helping schools and businesses, this may provide expats living abroad with another way to communicate with friends and family in Oman. Given the current state of the world, that could be a tremendous relief for many. It's unclear if this is a temporary change or if Oman residents will be able to use the services when the situation stabilizes.