Skype reacts to TRA's VoIP stance

Skype MEA boss says prices will remain high until 'real competition' is introduced

Tags: SkypeTelecommunications Regulatory Authority - UAEUnited Arab Emirates
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Skype reacts to TRA's VoIP stance Until real competition is introduced in the UAE communications market, prices will remain high and few new services will be deployed" - Pasha
By  Vineetha Menon Published  March 15, 2010

The head of Skype MEA Rouzbeh Pasha has called the TRA's updated VoIP policy in the UAE a 'small step' in advancing the country's communications market.

Any company that wishes to offer VoIP services in the country needs to be licensed by the TRA or explore partnerships with the four existing 'licensees' that include Etisalat and Du.

The TRA clarified that voice calls provided by Skype are a 'regulated activity' and that using the software to place calls over the Internet is considered illegal at this stage.

"TRA's decision to allow UAE's two incumbents to provide basic IP based communications is a small step in advancing UAE's communications market," said Pasha. "However, in advanced markets like the US, UK, France, Germany and Australia, no license is required to provide IP-based communications. Until real competition is introduced in the UAE communications market, prices will remain high and few new services will be deployed."

The VoIP policy however has exemptions for a ‘Closed Group Network' where calls originate and terminate in the UAE itself, or when it exists for a ‘Public Interest Purpose'. This could include educational situations for recognised academic institutions as well reasons that benefit government entities.

"In the IP world, there is no reason to distinguish between domestic and international calling. All traffic originates on and travels over the global public Internet irrespective of call origin and destination. All calls are, by the very nature of the Internet, international," added Pasha.

3408 days ago
Tony

This is just another example of greed, but, I believe we all realise that even though ADIA has the largest SWF in the world, locally, the UAE is very short of cash. It is nearly all borrowed money. As already mentioned by Baharudin, the UAE tries to portray itself as a 21st Century player with the best and latest technology!!! And then they block and make Skype illegal. If it is not greed, as is claimed, and it is only for security (as is also claimed) then the authorities really are going round in circles!!! They are putting themselves in the same category as repressive regimes who are paranoid about everything. So sad, UAE, so sad!!!

3409 days ago
Nikhil

Exploiting the situation and specifically the hard earned money of poor is not profit! One side they are running the donation slogans and on other side they are fleecing the poors!! What an irony of the present age?

3410 days ago
Nick

With the extortionate call charges for overseas calls presently offered by Etisilat and du, how else are we expats supposed to keep in contact with family and friends back home. How can it be made illegal to call via skype. They really need to look at themselves in the mirror and ask what century they are in!!!

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