TRA denies claims of end to UAE ban on WhatsApp calls

Calls reports circulating on social media "fake and just rumours."
UAE, TRA, Skype, Whatsapp, VoIP, Ban, Al Habtoor Group, Calling, Services, Tech, Business

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The UAE's TRA has previously said Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services must meet licensing requirements.

The UAE's Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has denied what it has called "rumours" that circulated on social media this past weekend about WhatsApp calls being allowed in the UAE over WiFi.

Arabic-language newspaper Emarat Al Youm had quoted a TRA source as saying social media posts about the UAE's ban on VoIP services - which include WhatsApp and Skype - coming to an end are "fake and just rumours."

The latest round of rumours appears to have kicked off last Saturday, when some social media users claimed they were able to make calls on WhatsApp through WiFi.

Thre VoIP ban has been in the news a bit recently. Last week, Al Habtoor Group chairman Khalaf Al Habtoor said he believes the ban put the UAE behind the rest of the world in the communications field.

"In the United Arab Emirates, we always aim to be number one in anything. Why are we in the back as far as communications are concerned? We have to be parallel to our requirement and to our aim, to be number one,” Al Habtoor said in a video posted to Twitter.

The UAE's TRA has previously said Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services must meet licensing requirements. At the moment, du and Etisalat offer C’Me and BOTIM VoIP services, saying that other VoIP services – including WhatsApp and Skype – are unauthorised.

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