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Sun 8 Feb 2015 10:58 AM

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Skype restrictions needed to safeguard return on investment, claims du boss

Making phonecalls through voice-over-internet-protocol (VOIP) applications not allowed in the UAE

Skype restrictions needed to safeguard return on investment, claims du boss
Osman Sultan, CEO of telco du.

The CEO of one of the UAE’s telecom operators has said the use of Skype has been restricted in order to protect its own investment.

Osman Sultan, CEO of telco du, said while voice-over-internet-protocol (VOIP) applications like Skype are not blocked, there are restrictions on its usage.

“The use of VOIP creates an economical issue. Skype is not blocked. Of course we know people use it,” he told 7Days newspaper. “For certain usage of Skype [PC-to-PC], it is allowed. But making phone calls through Skype directly, in principal, is not allowed,” he added.

He said du has invested billions of dirhams in providing the internet infrastructure that allows people to use VOIP and the telco must be able to get a return on that.

“I owe it to my customers, I owe it to my employers, I owe it to the shareholders and I owe it to the country that the economical equation on which we base all this is a viable one,” Sultan said.

“So more and more we are expanding, in offering these capabilities, but this has to be a progression based on a healthy and viable economical equation.”

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Mohammed 5 years ago

The UAE, which prides itself on world records, can also be proud of another record: among the highest phone and long distance rates in the world due to blocking VoIP services such as Skype and the dual-monopoly (not exactly a duopoly, whose members can actually compete) of Etisalat and dU.

At least Mr. Osman Sultan is honest.

Robert Carter 5 years ago

It is wholly ridiculous for DU and others to prevent proper valid competition in the UAE . What are they going to do next, stop people using cars because they want to sell carts & horses ?. All it is about is ONE thing MONEY and they are using that to make people pay much more than they need to so that they can line their own pockets.

loy 5 years ago

If you can't stand the heat - get out of the kitchen!
Most telecom companies made billions with the advent of Mobile phones (now the very same infrastructure for data). Yes, it costs a mere few millions to set this up, but once in, it is just maintenance and occasional upgrades. Meanwhile a continuous chink chink at the tills is guaranteed. Not even a road to dig. With 3G; the puny investment was surpassed in one week. 4G is a cash cow. Don't be fooled, it is all IP and costs no more to phone next door than Alaska these days.

From day one, telcos have enjoyed an enormous priviledge the world over, most still operate with a monopoly mindset embedded like a disease.

Life is already totally dependent on telecom infrastructure as a basic need! Very few countries allow a free for all, so back to basics where any good government should install the perfect telecom infrastructure just as they do sewers and let this greedy elite compete just like gas and electricity is distribute

Mick 5 years ago

how are competitive markets that allow VOIP thriving in first world countries? You want to restrict something that has no issues except that it is reducing the lining of your wallet?? How is that an infringement on rights? Then move with the times, du. Everyone else does. They evolve with the technology, they don't hamper it because they can't figure out a way to stop it from clogging up your revenue stream. It's not like illegal downloading. It's a universally legal and fair technology. You want the 80% of expats living in the UAE to have to pay through the nose to keep in touch with their loved ones far away instead of using VOIP.

The Consultant 5 years ago

I wonder if Du would be happy to apply the same philosophy to their own suppliers? After all, they owe it to their employees, shareholders etc. to make a decent return on their investment so presumably new competitors should be prohibited from bidding for work in order that the existing suppliers can maintain *ahem* "healthy margins"?

Kaif 5 years ago

DU is wrong in trying to stifle the use of VOIP. I travel all over the world and find the international phone charges in the UAE amongst the highest in the world. Either DU and Etisalat reduce international call rates or they allow VOIP.

Critic 5 years ago



mr CEO, sir at least open the access on 3g to call from mobile to PC or mobile as skype user OR you don't know how to sense the difference between data signal and phone line signal ?

SSS 5 years ago

I applaud Mr. Sultan for finally admitting the real reason why Skype (and other VOIP services) have been restricted in the UAE for years. ...that said, provide a good service at a competitive price and du/Etisalat won't need this protection.
I'm still waiting for competition in the home telecom services in the in Dubai that has been promised for over 2 years, but Etisalat continues to block this supposedly due to technical concerns. I understand the need for more time a 3rd licensed entrant is allowed into the UAE telecoms market, but in the meantime Etisalat should be forced to open up to competition with du across the UAE.

larry ellison 5 years ago

I stayed in a hostel for 4 weeks and paid 15 pounds for broadband internet. It was amazingly fast, and on my last day i tested the speed - was amazing 46GB!!!

in the UAE i refuse to upgrade as i think paying AED 299 for local line and internet is exhorbitant.

I also use xbmc on my apple tv and get all the free channels including iplayer and ITV player, channel 4
Also with a strongvpn.com routed to UK i get eurosport (football , tennis) for 4 pounds/month

du and etisalat are loosers who can never compete in the real world, their survival is based on their monopoly , and their profits have no connection to good management- just a plain monopoly. The whole system is a scam and fake like most |GCC countries

so dont waste your hard cash on either UAE monopoly. Just do you research and get