TRA mulls lifting Skype, FaceTime ban: report
The UAE wants to maintain a strong relationship with Microsoft and Apple, which continue to expand in the country
UAE's telecoms regulator is considering lifting the ban on Skype and FaceTime, according to a report by Al Ittihad newspaper.
Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, director-general of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), told the newspaper discussions are ongoing between Microsoft and Apple to allow their VoIP services in the country.
The UAE is keen to maintain a strong relationship with these tech companies, which continue to expand in the country. Microsoft recently announced the launch of two data centres in the UAE. Apple operates three stores in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the only ones in the region.
The TRA has long resisted calls to allow free VoIP services, concerned they would eat into local operators’ profits.
Etisalat and du offer alternative paid-for VoIP apps such as BOTIM and C'Me, but these are no match for the popularity of Skype and FaceTime.