Legal Skype would raise cost of UAE calls - Etisalat

EXCLUSIVE: Much of company revenue comes from international calls.
Legal Skype would raise cost of UAE calls - Etisalat
By Soren Billing
Fri 15 May 2009 03:07 PM

Etisalat and rival du would have to hike the cost of local fixed line calls if Skype and other VoIP based software were allowed in the UAE, the company’s chairman told Arabian Business on Friday.

“If Skype or other types of Voice Over IP (VoIP) is introduced in the UAE, that will affect the revenue not only for us, but for also for du,” said Mohammed Omran in an interview at the World Economic Forum in Jordan.

“In the UAE, quite a good portion of revenue comes from international calls and the tariffs in the UAE are still unbalanced. Local charges are much lower than cost, especially for fixed line.”

Etisalat charges private users AED15 per month for unlimited local, fixed line calls, and AED50 for business users.

“This is below cost and normally this is partly compensated with international calls. We have called several times for readjustment of the tariff to link it with the cost, so that we would be able to lower the cost of international calls,” Omran said.

The cost of line rental and local calls should be in line with other countries, Omran said.

Etisalat does not know if and when VoIP software will be legalised in the UAE, he added.

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