The Malawian Government has joined the lengthening list of African governments looking at legalising VoIP. Information and Civic Education Minister Patricia Kaliati disclosed this at a weeklong seminar on VoIP/SIP technologies she opened in Blantyre Monday. She said cabinet deferred a policy on VoIP technologies her ministry developed because it was wanting.

Kaliati challenged participants drawn from Malawi Communications and Regulatory Authority (Macra), organisers of the seminar, the sole ground line operator Malawi Telecommunications Limited (MTL), private mobile companies Celtel Malawi and Telekom Networks Malawi, among others, to come up with input that would help polish up the policy the cabinet failed to adopt.

Kaliati said the cabinet questioned how the policy was going to benefit rural masses, a question she said the policy did not answer. “Government wants to know how these technologies are going to assist people living in rural areas. That is why we are also appealing to private mobile companies to provide networks in as many rural areas as you can, villagers have handsets but the network is not available. We know you are trying, but you have to do more,” she said.

“Voice over IP technologies has revolutionalised the way how telecommunications operators are able to deliver services [voice and data]. Where VoIP is introduced either on local traffic or international traffic, cost of delivering services has been reduced and this savings have been passed over to consumers,” she said.

Daily Times