TRA clamps down on internet calls, while Skype usage soars worldwide


 Although global use of internet telephony provider, Skype, for international calls grew by 41% last year, UAE users still aren't able to reap the benefits of cheap calls. The Telecommunications Regulation Authority (TRA) continues to block the Skype website and vigorously pursues any other provider that sets up in the UAE. The reason is simple. Services such as Skype require a UAE telecoms licence to legally offer services and currently the only licences available are held by the UAE's existing operators.


Skype now handles around 10% of international calls across the world and, although plans are afoot to make more licences available the TRA is continuing with its crackdown on rogue internet telephony providers. Only last month the regulator uncovered and seized the assets of an unlicensed service offering devices to the public yet, although the incumbent operators have introduced special international calling plans, demand from users for cheaper calls appears unabated.

Stewart Baines
Stewart Baines

I've been writing about technology for nearly 20 years, including editing industry magazines Connect and Communications International. In 2002 I co-founded Futurity Media with Anthony Plewes. My focus in Futurity Media is in emerging technologies, social media and future gazing. As a graduate of philosophy & science, I have studied futurology & foresight to the post-grad level.