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Will access to Zoom, other VoIP services continue in the UAE? TRA responds

Will access to Zoom, other VoIP services continue in the UAE? TRA responds

In March, the TRA had said several apps would be available for free due to the Covid-19 situation

The UAE’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has said that it is not responsible for deciding whether free VoIP apps will continue to operate after the Covid-19 situation.

The UAE has a ban on VoIP apps – except those permitted by the telecom operators – but in March, the TRA had said several apps would be available for free due to the Covid-19 situation. Apps such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams are currently accessible in the country.

Telecommunication officials have said the decision to permanently lift restrictions on video conferencing programmes post-coronavirus does not lie with them.

On Wednesday, during a session of the Federal National Council, members asked a TRA official whether long-term access to the apps will continue once we are out of the pandemic, local media reported.

However, TRA director general Hamad Al Mansoori stressed that “the authority is not responsible for such apps,” The National reported.

“We are not in a position to answer the question about whether VoIPs will continue to be accessible once the pandemic is over,” the paper quoted him as saying.

Representatives from telecom operators Etisalat and du did not attend the meeting.

When the availability of VoIP apps was first announced in March, the TRA said they would be accessible “until further notice”.

There have been several calls in the past for the UAE to allow access to free VoIP services such as Skype and WhatsApp video calls.

Read: Dubai businessman Khalaf Al Habtoor urges for end to Skype ban in UAE

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