Only Etisalat, du licensed for VOIP in UAE: TRA
ABU DHABI, September 3, 2014
Only Etisalat and du are licensed to provide telecommunication services in the UAE including VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) services, said the country’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA).
The VOIP regulatory policy still exists and has not been amended, the TRA statement added.
It also denied recent reports in the local newspapers and social networks that Viber, a free messaging and calling service, is blocked in the UAE.
“We would like to clarify that the service hasn’t never been licensed in the first place to be blocked later,” the TRA statement stated.
The TRA clarification comes amid reports that WhatsApp, a popular messaging service using the Internet, could be offering free VOIP calls to its 600 million users.
The service, if introduced, will pose a new challenge to Skype and Viber, as well as to telecom network operators worldwide.
Reports in local media also wondered if it will be allowed in the UAE.
WhatsApp which had about 450 million users at the time of Facebook's takeover in February has now swelled to over 600 million users, with a stated target of connecting "4 to 5 billion people over the next five years", according to the report.