UAE operator du has denied it has unblocked VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) services in the Gulf state, despite the service being freely available to download.
In a statement to Arabian Business, a spokesperson for the operator said: “There has been no change in the treatment of VoIP traffic, including Skype, on our networks.”
Subscribers to the operators mobile and fixed line services have been able to access Skype to make calls to mobile phones and landlines for several days.
Du has previously said it will launch VoIP, but it is unclear when this will happen.
Both du and Etisalat are licensed to provide VoIP but both operators have yet to offer services in a bid to try to maximise earnings from conventional calls. Despite the ban, the UAE’s largely expat population has continued to use the service, either on their smartphone devices or internet shops.
Several reports in the last year have indicated that operators may be coming around to the idea of offering VoIP services. Etisalat’s chief commercial officer said in April that the operator would offer internet-based phone calls by the end of the second quarter of the year although no official announcement has been made since.
Du and BlackBerry confirmed last month that VoIP and internet video testing has begun on the Blackberry 10.