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No lift on Skype ban in the UAE
Telecoms regulator says only local operators such as Etisalat and du will be allowed to offer customers international ‘voice over internet’ services.
March 15, 2010 6:29 by kippreport
Skype remains banned in the UAE, despite the telecoms regulator having legalized international voice over internet protocol (VoIP) services for local operators.
International calls made over the internet have been made legal for the first time, according to an update announced today by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA). But only the four local operators – Etisalat and du, and satellite service providers Yahsat and Thuraya – will be allowed to offer such services.
While third parties such as Skype remain banned, they will be allowed to enter into partnerships with local operators, according to the TRA.
Josh Silverman, chief executive of Skype, has said the firm is open to discussions with the UAE government over the ban, Zawya Dow Jones reported last week.
“I personally feel it’s quite short-sighted of the government. We are always open to discussions,” Silverman said at last week’s Abu Dhabi Media Summit. “The Middle East is important for Skype. We know they want to use our software, and we want to help them,” he added.