TRA considering VoIP future

The UAE’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has this month suggested that some licensed VoIP services could be given the go-ahead in the UAE by the end of the year.

  • E-Mail
By  Matthew Wade Published  October 15, 2006

The UAE’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has this month suggested that some licensed VoIP services could be given the go-ahead in the UAE by the end of the year. Quoted in the Khaleej Times this week, the TRA’s public relations manager, Adnan Al Bahari, commented: “Currently, we are studying all the aspects of the ban on VoIP facilities. And if we find it is necessary to lift the ban, we’d re-consider our decision”, he said. A suggestion, made previously by TRA officials, is that VoIP services need licensing, just like standard landline and mobile phone services, and that this is being worked upon at present. The TRA’s director-general, Mohamed Nasser Al Ghanim, has previously said that the TRA is discussing the issue with industry players who are interested in providing VoIP services, such as Etisalat. Whichever providers do get the eventual nod however, this development seems unlikely to see international consumer VoIP services such as Skype and Net2Phone suddenly becoming accessible. Instead, it appears more probable that the UAE’s two telcos – Etisalat and Du – will be permitted to launch their own VoIP services. In June, the Gulf News reported that Etisalat’s internet arm - eCompany - was ready to introduce Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services, but was awaiting approval to do so from the TRA. At the time of writing, a spokesperson for the UAE’s second operator, Du, was unable to confirm to Windows whether the organisation was also working on providing VoIP services in the future. One internet telecommunications company, Efonica, has been quick to respond to the TRA’s comment, noting in a press release this week that the move “will allow UAE residents to reap the benefits of the VoIP revolution that is currently sweeping the world”. Roger Karam, Efonica’s CEO, said that VoIP had made it possible for many people in the Arab world to connect with each other through affordable communications. “The decision to review VoIP’s implementation is a positive step, and we are eager to see that the UAE also becomes an important part of this global revolution,” Karam said. Efonica claims to be the only VoIP service with an office in the Middle East.

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code