30 January, 2007

du tell

Gulf News yesterday:
Dubai: From next month internet users in Dubai's free zones will be barred from calling phone lines from their PCs using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) in an apparent change of heart by the UAE's telecom regulator.

An announcement banning use of VoIP in Dubai Internet City was made to customers by du-owned DIC Telecom, the telecommunications provider for the free zone, in compliance with instructions issued by the UAE Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRA).
. . .
TRA general director Mohammad Al Ganem, said the development is not new.

"This is a clear policy of the TRA and is country-wide, including all free zones. This has been made clear for some time," he said.
From a GN report in November:
The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) said yesterday it would allow internet telephony, or Voice over Internet Protocol technology, but only for local calls within the UAE.
The news comes as a half-reversal of its announcement in October, when it said it would allow VoIP from the two licensed operators, etisalat and du.

"We are taking it step by step," he said. "At some point VoIP will be liberalised. As for when, I cannot give you a date. We do not want the quality of service to be lacking or the revenues of the operators to be hurt."

The TRA believes 60 per cent of the telecom revenues in the UAE come from international calls, and that allowing VoIP calls could severely hamper the financial performance of operators.
I wonder what the stor is here. It seems that either du saw some glimmer of possibility that it could gain share in the free zones by allowing VoIP and has been reigned in, or TRA expressly allowed it and then had a "change of heart."


Seabee said...

And very imortantly, as I said on my blog posting on the decision, this is yet another cost on companies, yet another blow to Dubai's attempt to attract businesses.

VoIP is an important part of modern international business, cutting the huge telecom costs of companies.

The RTA needs reigning in by Sh. Mohammed bin Rashid on this one.

A Blessing in Tragedy said...

Seeing how most TRA orders can be traced to Sh. Khaleefa bin Zayed or his brothers... I think Sh Mohammed bin Rashid knows better than to even say a word.

rosh said...

"I think Sh Mohammed bin Rashid knows better than to even say a word. "

leesh??? why??

ADinamorato said...

Interesting ... I still can use Skype and have been using it for the past 6 months. The quality is superb, am I missing something?

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