Etisalat prosecutes Internet phone company

Etisalat graphically demonstrated its resolve to maintain its lock on the UAE telecoms market yesterday as a firm routing local calls to the outside world via the Internet was hauled into court.

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By  Rob Corder Published  April 26, 2001

Etisalat graphically demonstrated its resolve to maintain its lock on the UAE telecoms market yesterday as a firm routing local calls to the outside world via the Internet was hauled into court.

The owner of Gulf e-Business, a Dubai Internet City-licensed company was charged with “depriving Etisalat of its quota of international call revenues by illegally bypassing the system,” stated a report in today’s Gulf News.

Mohammed Al Dorani, the owner of Gulf Business lodged a defense that his company’s Internet phone system was only used for a few seconds while experimenting with his equipment.

Etisalat’s lawyer, Hamad Al Mehairi, however, said that over 500 telephone calls from th US were transferred during the two days of July 26 and 27 last year. Police raided the company on July 11 last year after Etisalat discovered the company’s operation.

Internet telephony is a popular practice across the world as it massively decreases the cost of calls. Local calls in the UAE are free, and callers only have to pay the cost per minute of time on the Internet. Voice over IP technology, which facilitates Internet telephony, has improved dramatically over recent years so that the quality of an Internet call is almost identical to a normal call.

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