Du subscribers get access to Skype calls: report

VOIP service currently available to download from Skype.com

Tags: SkypeUnited Arab Emirates
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Du subscribers get access to Skype calls: report VOIP service Skype has been blocked by UAE ISPs in the past.
By  Stephen McBride Published  March 20, 2013

Du landline and mobile customers yesterday found they could access Skype calls, according to reports by UAE media.

Previously, download of the Skype software from the Skype website and some third-party sites was problematic in the UAE, due to barring of the service by national ISPs Etisalat and du.

According to The National, Etisalat maintains its embargo, but ITP.net was able to confirm du subscribers can access the Skype.com website, download the software and install it.

The National's report also said du customers were able to add credit to their Skype accounts and make Skype-to-phone calls, but Emirates 24|7 reported that such calls, specifically those to numbers in India, suffered disruption.

It is unclear what is behind the block lift or when it occurred, but Skype owner Microsoft's discontinuation of its Windows Live Messenger service on 15 March may have been a catalyst. Prior to the switch-off, Microsoft had said that users would have to rely on Skype after that date, sparking some users to express concerns about disruption of other services such as Hotmail, which Microsoft migrated to its Outlook.com service.

While the Skype voice-over-IP service is widely used for Skype-to-Skype calls among UAE expats, TRA (Telecom Regulatory Authority) regulations deem use of "unlicensed VOIP" services to be illegal, unless explicitly sanctioned by the relevant operator.

However, the TRA has also said there is no regulatory barrier to Etisalat or du licensing VOIP services, but neither telco has previously shown willingness to do so.

647 days ago
Kenneth DCosta

Both DU and Etisalat should also lift the ban on Apple Facetime. The increase in Data revenue will therefore increase many fold as user will need to activate the 3G or 4G services to access these tools. Restricting of technology does not benefit anyone.

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