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Wed 3 Sep 2014 02:37 PM

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Regulator says Viber 'not licensed' to operate in UAE

Telecommunications Regulatory Authority issues statement to clarify position following media reports claiming service is blocked

Regulator says Viber 'not licensed' to operate in UAE

The UAE's telecoms regulator said on Wednesday that the smart phone app Viber, which allows users to send free text messages and photos, is not allowed to operate in the country because it is not licensed.

Responding to media reports and social network posts, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority said it wanted to clarify the situation regarding Viber.

It said only Etisalat and Du are licensed to provide Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services in the UAE, with global online services encrypted.

“We have recently seen local newspapers and social networks publishing news with regards to the Viber service being blocked in the UAE," it said.

"We would like to clarify that the service was never licensed in the UAE. Moreover, the VoIP regulatory policy has only licensed Etisalat and Du (the licensees) to provide telecommunication services in the UAE, including VOIP services. This policy still exists and has not been amended.”

The TRA issued a similar statement in response to the unauthorised use of Skype last year.

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