UAE telecoms regulators are in talks with Microsoft and Apple to potentially lift the ban on free video and voice call apps Skype and FaceTime.
The move comes in line with the tech giants’ expansion in the region, Arabic daily Al Ittihad reported.
However, “discussions are still ongoing,” according to Hamad Al Mansoori, director general of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA).
“Microsoft has launched, for the first time, two data centres in the UAE [which] cover the entire Middle East,” said Al Mansoori, adding that authorities are looking to maintain strong relationships with the firms.
Providers such as Etisalat and Emirates Integrated Communications currently offer their own versions of paid-for video apps such as Botim and C’Me, for which the number of users is “on the rise,” according to Al Mansoori.
Both individual users and companies have repeatedly urged a review over the ban, pointing to the high cost of telecom in the UAE.
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