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Poll: VoIP ban slows business

The UAE's ban on voice over internet protocol (VoIP) websites, such as Skype.com and Net2Phone.com, and related services is slowing down business growth, according to respondents surveyed at itp.net.

A poll run durng the past four weeks asked visitors to the popular technology portal, 'Do you feel the current VoIP restrictions in the UAE are limiting your business's potential growth?'.

Of the 1,492 users that responded, more than three quarters (just over 77%) answered 'Yes, very much', with a further 12.1% confirming, 'To a degree, yes'. Less than 11% of respondents thought the VoIP ban was having no effect on their organisation's growth.

In recent weeks, incumbent telco Etisalat, operating in line with the UAE regulator's Telecom Law, has begun tightening the reins still further, with even users who run 'pre-ban' installations of popular VoIP applications now reporting that these no longer work.

According to a report in the UAE newspaper Gulf News, the UAE's Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has defended its decision to block VoIP services, claiming that such services "should be treated just like conventional mobile and fixed-line services and therefore need licensing."

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