Business | Telecoms

No ban on Skype in UAE: TRA

etisalat and du should apply for permission to deliver service, says telecoms authority

  • By Abdulla Rasheed, Abu Dhabi Editor
  • Published: 10:45 April 9, 2013
  • Gulf News

Dubai: There is no ban on Skype services in the UAE, the head of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) said on Tuesday.

Mohammad Al Ganem, head of TRA, told Gulf News that there is no restriction in Skype services in the UAE, but the service must be provided by one of the telecom service providers in the UAE and not through a third party.

Al Ganem said that telecom providers etisalat and du should apply for permission to deliver the service.

When an official request has been submitted to the TRA, the authority will then apply rules if there is a third party to facilitate the service.

Ali Al Ahmad, etisalat Chief Corporate Communication Officer, said the regulation on VoIP has not changed in the UAE.

Al Ahmad said there are international companies that want to introduce Skype directly in the UAE market, but if a third company wants to enter the market, they must contact the two main telecom providers and present a proposal, which will be studied and presented to the TRA.

What is Skype?

Skype is a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service and software that allows users to make calls through the internet.

Calls to other Skype users are free, while calls to landline and mobile phones are charged to the user's account.

Comments (8)

  1. Added 16:52 April 9, 2013

    i think that the telecom companies must start moving over to internet adoption in the sense, they must lower the rates for data and make it free for user to choose any method to communicate. that is the future. where calling doesnt depend on the geographical location. telecom authorities must now switch over almost completely to internet companies. That will be freedom. and will help Etisalat and DU due to high penetration rates of smartphones.

    Neeraj Thakur, Abu Dhabi, India

  2. Added 16:19 April 9, 2013

    there will be no additional video call charge while using 3g or any data packages?

    Anonymous, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 15:08 April 9, 2013

    Well the skype ban has been lifted very recently actually that was there. So now you can use it for audio & video conferencing... but for calling to Phones whether LL or Mob is still under restrictions. So i inform everybody to be careful before buying the skype credits & any subscriptions.....

    Anonymous, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 14:56 April 9, 2013

    It is in the best interests to legalize Skype as many people already use it and once Microsoft makes Skype an integral member of its offerings - it will be even more difficult to control it. Already many many people in UAE are using Viber ( through Iphone using VoIP technology).

    Ali, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 14:28 April 9, 2013

    I can't call to land phones and mobile phones from Skype. I try it from android & PC.

    Rajesh, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 14:03 April 9, 2013

    If 'there is no ban on Skype' in UAE, why are people unable to install it here?

    R.Vasudevan, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 12:58 April 9, 2013

    If you think about it, all outside companies need to have a 100% locally owned agent to sell to clients inside Dubai. This is for the client's protection. If the local agent is Du or Etisalat, then if skype decides to close the service and deny refunds of accounts, the Dubai clients can place a case against the agent which is du or Etisalat to refund completely the balance remaining in their skype account. TRA had the same policy for many years. Just that the people never requested the local agent to contact skype to have a responsibility sharing agreement. Good work protecting the Dubai clients TRA and DED. Users of skype can suggest to the local agent to take like 5% or whatever commission to handle the responsibility of providing the service. Also du and etisalat can request skype to deposit all the money held in accounts of skype (not used) in case skype decides to close down and the customers have to be refunded by etisalat and du. If skype refuses to protect the Dubai clients, then any voip company was and still is allowed to deal with Du and etisalat as a provider. That shall get them a lot of minutes. As long as they can guarantee the refunds due in case they decide to close. Regards, Khawar Nehal

    Khawar Nehal, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 12:11 April 9, 2013

    If we use skype in our etisalat postpaid mobile having data subscription will there be an additional videocall charge as 3g data?

    RINESH ANDREWS, DUBAI, United Arab Emirates

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