×
Enjoying ad-free content?
Since July 1, 2024, we have disabled all ads to improve your reading experience.
This commitment costs us $10,000 a month. Your support can help us fill the gap.
Support us
Our journalism is banned in Russia. We need your help to keep providing you with the truth.

MTS's Skype Licensing Request Turned Down

MTS's request for Skype to be forced to obtain a license for operating in Russia has been rejected by the Federal Mass Media Inspection Service, Vedomosti reported Wednesday.

Oleg Ivanov, deputy head of the inspection service, said in a letter to Mobile TeleSystems on July 3 that regulating the Skype was "impossible," because the company did not have any offices or subsidiaries in the country.

Even if Skype, which is based in Luxembourg, had a representative office in Russia, its licensing would still be impossible, because the services it provides do not require one, Ivanov added.

A list of services requiring licensing was drawn up by the government in 2005, but the services provided by Skype don't appear on it, the report says.

But German Myzovsky, chief IP-communication engineer at Sipnet said Skype could easily be required to obtain a license for "transferring data for voice communication" in Russia in the same way that other online communication providers do.

Last spring, MTS's vice president for corporate and legal issues Ruslan Ibragimov complained to the inspection service, also known as Roskomnadzor, that over-the-top communications providers like Skype increasingly compete with regular phone operators, but make no financial contribution to telecommunications infrastructure. He asked the regulator to follow Europe's lead and investigate Skype and other IP-telephone companies for their compliance with Russian licensing requirements.

In March 2013, French telecommunications regulators asked prosecutors in Paris to investigate Skype's activities, but so far no conclusion has been reached.

She said MTS had not received the letter from Roskomnadzor yet.

Roskomnadzor's spokesman Vladimir Pikov has declined to comment.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

Once
Monthly
Annual
Continue
paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more