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VoIP regulations revised in the UAE

Only licensed operators may provide VoIP; companies may collaborate with those operators

Mohamed Al Ghanim, director general at the TRA said that they are currently working with VoIP companies such as Skype to see if their services can be implemented in the UAE.
Mohamed Al Ghanim, director general at the TRA said that they are currently working with VoIP companies such as Skype to see if their services can be implemented in the UAE.

The UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has revised Voice over IP regulatory policy. The new regulations allow Licensees, such as du and Etisalat, to offer VoIP services.

The TRA has stated that only licensees may provide VoIP services as it is considered a regulated activity, which must be licensed.

The TRA also revealed three provisions for introducing VoIP services, these are: as an end-to-end voice service, as an additional feature to a connectivity service or in any other format that the Licensee wishes to provide.

"The TRA believes that this regulatory policy will provide opportunities for both Licensees and users to benefit from VoIP services in keeping with the market demands. The TRA looks forward to seeing the introduction of VoIP services that are responsive to consumer and business needs," said Mohammed Gheyath, executive director at the TRA.

The TRA said that although only Licensees may introduce VoIP services, other parties may approach Licensees and work with them to legally provide services in the UAE.

"With regards to internet telephony, only the telecom services providers in the UAE are licenced to offer VoIP services and they have started to provide these services already. This measure is set in place in order to protect telecom customers, as if a company is not registered with us, we cannot intervene or help should a problem arise. We have been working with Skype and other VoIP providers to see if their services could be established here in the UAE," said Mohamed Al Ghanim, director general at the TRA.