By Neil Halligan
Users were able to make voice and video calls on Facebook-owned WhatsApp on Thursday
WhatsApp’s voice and video calling features have been unblocked in the UAE.
The feature has been blocked in the county since it was launched in November last year, in line with a similar block on other Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) providers like Viber.
Users on Thursday reported that the call and video features on WhatApp were fully operational.
Although no statement is available as yet from the Telecommunication Regulation Authority (TRA), its last communication regarding VoIP services in the UAE said that the provision of those services remained with the country’s licensed operators, Etisalat and du.
“Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) are considered part of the UAE’s regulated activities. The TRA has granted licensed operators the eligibility to provide such services across their networks. Companies wishing to provide such services should coordinate with the UAE’s licensed service providers in this regard,” the TRA said in its 2015 statement.
“The TRA stressed on its role as the regulator in this context, especially in light of its devoted efforts towards upgrading the Information and Communication Technology infrastructure and laying the foundations for smart cities and smart government, as well as ensuring the UAE’s leading position on a global standard.”
A spokesperson for Facebook, the owner of WhatsApp, has declined to comment.
Both Etisalat and du have been contacted for comment.