7 Jun 2010
UAE telecoms operator Du will offer voice-over-IP (VoIP) services in the country by next month, Gulf News reports. The company’s chief commercial officer, Fareed Faraidooni, said: ‘We have developed this service… probably we will be the first operator in the UAE to launch a set of VoIP services next month.’ Faraidooni added that Du would be offering products aimed at both the consumer and business markets. In March 2010 CommsUpdate reported that the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) had published a licensing framework for the provision of VoIP, announcing that only the Sultanate’s four licensed telecoms operators – Etisalat, Du, and satellite companies Thuraya and Yahsat – would be allowed to offer the service. International companies, such as Skype, remain barred from providing internet telephony, although they have the option of joining forces with one of the four local operators to legally offer the service. Previously, Etisalat and Du were the only companies allowed to provide internal VoIP services within the UAE, which banned international internet-based calls in 2004. With the relevant infrastructure already in place, Etisalat was immediately able to launch a VoIP service for enterprise customers.