VoIP UAE still Unavailable

The legality of Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) in the United Arab Emirates is still a complicated matter according to the UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA).

The TRA supposedly gave a grace period to the main state providers to allow UAE customers to make cheap phone calls over VoIP.

However the two biggest networks - du and Etisalat - have postponed their VoIP launch which was supposed to debut at the beginning of 2011.

Furthermore there are not even any signs of the technology becoming available in the near future.

An Etisalat spokesman explained: "There is no directive to start VoIP service soon and it was premature to set a date."

VoIP experts have estimated that introducing the technology to the UAE could at least halve the price of international phone calls.

Yet it is thought that this cost-saving would be a threat to the revenues of local telecomms companies in the UAE, hence the resistance to VoIP there.

Apparently the TRA has determined its price policies for starting the VoIP service, but none of the other operational criteria.

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