Thanks to the efforts of virtual number providers like Telnum.net to bring the future of the telecommunications industry, you can now create a remote office setup without shelling out for a big investment.
We’ve always known that convenience and cost are two of the main driving forces to why a lot of people (entrepreneurs and individuals alike) have fallen in love with making VoIP a permanent part of their lives.
VoIP promises that you can take your number with you anywhere in the world there’s an internet connection. But is there no limit to this?
That’s what we’re going to cover in this post. So keep reading if you want to make sure that you’re legally using a virtual number in your country of interest.
VoIP in a limbo
Although the tech has been around for more than 20 years and has gained traction for 10, there’s still no clear status on it. There’s no clear consensus or general pattern on the type of regulation there should be on VoIP.
For the most part, it’s pretty unregulated… but not necessarily because policymakers made it that way. It has just flown under the radar for so long because it’s not normally used by the general public.
That’s why you can easily download apps like Freeje Optimum on your phone with no issues. Many countries consider those just another app, similar to Facebook Messenger.
But anyone who’s ever used any type of VoIP service knows better. They’ve seen VoIP apps can actually do so much more, such as the case of Freeje where you can actually run a small call center with it.
So it hasn’t gone unnoticed completely. There are countries that have some regulations on VoIP enforced within their territories.
Existing VoIP regulations that you should know about
We’ve categorized such regulations into two: non-legislated and legislated. The discussion would focus mostly on the latter.
The non-legislated is mostly about people having difficulty in accessing VoIP regardless of the quality of their internet connection.
Such is the case in Egypt where people normally can’t connect unless they’re using VPN and in Iran where that experiences practically the same thing. Here, the opportunity of access is cut off completely.
But with the legislated ones, people have access but the protections or options are limited. This is what’s happening in Belize, Brazil, the Caribbean, and China. People can only get government-owned VoIP services.
In the United States, the regulation actually affords you protection in case you’re unsatisfied with your provider’s service. For example, if they’re not able to deliver what was agreed upon, you can file a complaint with the FCC.
Providers working in the US are also required to contribute to communication support services and to protect their customers’ data at call cost.
But not everything is regulated there. For example, they’re not responsible for your disconnection because of power outages. That means you should be able to set up backup power just in case. Therefore, everything that’s unregulated is beyond the powers of the FCC.
That’s why it’s very important that regardless of the local laws, you should always go with a provider that prioritizes quality service. Considering its impact on productivity and on the profitability of your enterprise, committing to a single provider should never be taken lightly.
To be clear, we’re not against regulation. It’s actually a great way to protect consumers and providers alike. There’s a clear set of expectations so that the relationship between the two goes as smoothly as possible.
Unfortunately, there are a few nations that are taking it to the extreme by preventing their citizens from experiencing the best of VOIP.
List of countries and areas that totally ban VoIP
As discussed above, there are many more countries that on some level prevent the free market of VoIP. For example, in Belize, you can only use the service provider sponsored by their government.
However, since you’ll still have some access to it or at least the possibility of connecting, we’ll not include it here. The same goes for other countries that allow some form of VoIP. Here’s a list of countries that totally ban them:
- North Korea
- Middle East (Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Oman)
- North Korea
As much as we’d like to share the greatness of switching to VoIP with everyone, it’s up to their national governments, in the end, to decide whether such services would be restricted or not.
And to avoid connection difficulties and potential legal troubles, we advise you to know the particular restrictions in the country you’re going to. The most important thing is to be prepared so you can strategize how to best handle communicating with your staff.