Legal Skype would raise cost of UAE calls - Etisalat

EXCLUSIVE: Much of company revenue comes from international calls.

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By  Soren Billing Published  May 15, 2009

Etisalat and rival du would have to hike the cost of local fixed line calls if Skype and other VoIP based software were allowed in the UAE, the company’s chairman told Arabian Business on Friday.

“If Skype or other types of Voice Over IP (VoIP) is introduced in the UAE, that will affect the revenue not only for us, but for also for du,” said Mohammed Omran in an interview at the World Economic Forum in Jordan.

“In the UAE, quite a good portion of revenue comes from international calls and the tariffs in the UAE are still unbalanced. Local charges are much lower than cost, especially for fixed line.”

Etisalat charges private users AED15 per month for unlimited local, fixed line calls, and AED50 for business users.

“This is below cost and normally this is partly compensated with international calls. We have called several times for readjustment of the tariff to link it with the cost, so that we would be able to lower the cost of international calls,” Omran said.

The cost of line rental and local calls should be in line with other countries, Omran said.

Etisalat does not know if and when VoIP software will be legalised in the UAE, he added.

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3515 days ago

yeah, your right denis i agree, but some of their friends using skype that's maybe that's the reasons.

3616 days ago

I never knew the value of skype until I came to Bahrain, the TRA and Government here sure don't care about Batelco at all! VoIP was legalized since 2005!! I got the seimens thing which does both normal and IP-based calls.. other smaller operators offer 80% off normal IDD batelco rates.. competition dont you just love it! :) This is good!

3617 days ago

and they more then gouge you on your cell phone telecom rates. Their monthly fees for Internet service planes of 460 DHMS. per month is more than 5X of what they charge here in Taiwan on their monthly broadband services so that is like a 500% tax on top of their monthly fee!! The local telecom company is used to gouging their customers and now finds it difficult to offer their customers lower prices. Skype and other VOIP services should be allowed in the UAE. Even in communist China this is allowed. By not allowing VOIP services the UAE would be even more strict than a communist country like China. To be competitive in the middle-east the UAE needs to allow the people in the UAE access to VOIP services such as Skype. They need to stop from trying to milk every penny out of every person in the UAE. Thumbs up to Arabianbusiness for allowing all the people to post their opinions and feelings about the telecom sector in the UAE.

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