TRA confirms WhatsApp has not been unblocked

Following availability of VoIP services, regulator confirms policy has not changed

Following news that voice and video calls on WhatsApp became available, the telecoms regulator of the UAE has moved to dismiss rumours that the service has been unblocked.

VoIP (meaning “voice over internet protocol”) services, like WhatsApp’s calling features, are prohibited in the UAE. Licensed providers Etisalat and du are the only service providers in the country allowed to provide VoIP services; as such, the opening up of WhatsApp services caused quite a stir on social media.

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of the UAE has since released a brief statement saying there has been no change in the UAE’s VoIP policy.

“TRA reconfirms that any applications or services of this type must comply with the applicable regulatory framework in the country,” it said in a statement.

It remains to be seen how long WhatsApp calling will be available for in the UAE.

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