Dubai’s two telecoms companies, Etisalat, and Du have banned the new feature from Snapchat, which allows users to voice and video call citing violations of VoIP regulations.
The updated popular social media app, Snapchat 2.0, lets users’ video talk and speak with just one tap, as long as their friends show up on the chat, as reported by the Emirate 24/7.
The report from the news agency, however, notes that the new features are in violation of the country’s VoIP regulations, which do not allow third party providers from giving internet based telephony services, whether voice or video call. The Emirates 24/7 confirmed the move that Etisalat and Du took, through a spokesperson of the Dubai Du, who said, “Companies wishing to provide VoIP services should coordinate with the UAE’s licensed service providers in this regard.”
In the United Arab Emirates, only two companies are allowed to offer these services, which are Etisalat and Du.
The same statement by Du was echoed by Etisalat, highlighting the country’s telecom regulations, and saying any offer of VoIP services was a prerogative of licenses and anyone wishing to provide these services had to coordinate with the licenses the report says.
The UAE’s Telecom Regulatory Authority already clarified its stand on the issue if VoIP based services last year. The issue then was about the barring of WhatsApp’s voice calls; the TRA had clarified that the policy was applicable to any Voice Over service.
The TRA reported then, “Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is considered part of the UAE’s regulated activities. The TRA has granted licensed operators the eligibility to provide such services across their networks. Companies wishing to provide such services should coordinate with the UAE’s licensed service providers in this regard.”
The TRA has always stressed its role as the regulator in this context. It has been devoted to ensuring that the country is in the leading position on a global standard and setting up efforts towards the upgrading of the Information and Communication Technology infrastructure.