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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



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.



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6 Comments

  1. nick on March 16, 2010 8:42 am

    Here’s a tip for the readers of Kipp:

    Fly to Bahrain, download Skype on to laptop, fly home again and run Skype. ‘khallas’.
    It works just fine for me (although only computer to computer, not to landlines)

     
  2. bertie bentley on March 16, 2010 8:54 am

    For landlines you need a VPN. Quick and easy to download. This whole discussion about VOIP in the UAE is null and void anyway; the authorities can witter on as much as they like, the majority of people have worked out how to circumvent the blocks anyway.

     
  3. Miss Anne Thropic on March 16, 2010 2:55 pm

    My laptop came with Skype on it, bought in the UAE at Carrefour!

     
  4. gmf on March 17, 2010 7:32 am

    it works here:

    http://download.chip.eu/ro/Skype-4.2.0.152_100719.html

    click on ”Descarca acum! ”
    in the new window click on ” Descarca programul acum ”

     
  5. DENISETHEMENANCEAGAIN on March 18, 2010 8:06 am

    THANKS GMF …. I WAS ABLE TO DOWNLOAD IT…

    BTW HAVE YOU NOTICED YOU CAN ACCESS LOT OF WEBSITES/WEBPAGES OTHERWISE BLOCKED BY GOING TO THEIR NON-ENGLISH VERSIONS (AND USING GOOGLE TRANSLATE…)

    CHEERS !

     
  6. Andrew on March 18, 2010 3:39 pm

    Getting around the Etisalat proxy is so 1996.

     

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