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BlackBerry, UAE telcos may launch voice, video

BlackBerry confirms it is testing banned voice- and video-over-IP services with du and Etisalat

BlackBerry's new BlackBerry 10 platform includes voice and video services integrated into BlackBerry Messenger.
BlackBerry's new BlackBerry 10 platform includes voice and video services integrated into BlackBerry Messenger.

BlackBerry is close to an agreement with UAE telecoms operators on allowing voice and video services over the internet, according to Dow Jones.

The newswire said that BlackBerry and Du had confirmed they are testing the service, but no date is set for launch yet.

The new BlackBerry Z10 was launched in the UAE on Sunday, but voice and video services integrated into the BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), were not included due to a long-standing ban on Voice over IP services to protect the international call revenues of Du and Etisalat. Other VoIP services including Apple FaceTime and Skype, are currently blocked.

“Our partners are currently testing the service. They will announce availability when they're ready,” a BlackBerry official told Dow Jones in a statement.

Du confirmed the testing but said that did not guarantee the services would be launched, while Etisalat didn’t comment the newswire said.