Skype not authorised in UAE, says telecoms authority

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority says internet providers must seek approval to provide VoIP services.

A mobile phone shows a Skype application at the 3GSM World congress in Barcelona, on February 14, 2011. The 2011 Mobile World Congress will be held from 15 to 18 February in Barcelona. AFP PHOTO/JOSEP LAGO
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The internet phone service Skype remains unauthorised, despite the unblocking of its website by the UAE's two internet providers.
The internet regulator, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), issued a statement today saying that du and Etisalat "must seek approval to provide such service after fulfilling the regulatory and technical requirements of the TRA, which has not happened in the case of Skype".
It added: "VoIP [voice over internet protocol] services through Skype are still unauthorised."
The regulator said the rules on the issue were unchanged, and only Etisalat and du were currently licensed to provide VoIP services in the UAE.
While technically and legally there is no problem in authorising VoIP services, neither Microsoft - which owns Skype - nor du or Etisalat have such authorisation for Skype.
Etisalat announced yesterday on its Facebook page that it had lifted the block on Skype's website, while du users have been able to access the site for several weeks.