Monday, 28 December 2009


Page Blocked NoticeImage via Wikipedia

So Etisalat and Du have put their heads together and decided to block the evil BlackBerries. From this day on, no longer will the UAE's population be able to access gambling, pornography,drugs and *gasp* Voice over IP sites.

It's interesting that the telcos rank VOIP alongside gambling and porn - an insight into telco morality, if you like. What are the worst things the UAE's telcos can think of - the most mind-corrupting, society-challenging, youth-destabilising things possible? And Skype is right up there with the worst things that the Lord of Mordor could possibly imagine.

You do have to wonder, don't you? The telcos, according to the report carried in The Paper That Tells It Like It Is, Gulf News, are acting unilaterally and not waiting for 'Nanny' regulator the TRA. Damn right they are - because while three of the four categories are culturally arguable, the fourth, VOIP, is a purely commercial decision that is contrary to the interests of the people that these telcos are supposed to be serving.

At least they're not forcing people to accept spyware...
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Oussama said...

VOIP has always been the bete noire of Telcos in the UAE. It is interesting that in countries where VOIP is allowed Telcos are still making heaps of money.
They claim that the TRA is behind the blocking of VOIP because these are service providers and have to be regulated by the TRA. I suppose following the same logic they should block eBay,, Expedia and all like sites because they are not regulated by some UAE entity.
It is only pro Globalism when it suits us at Telcos. Go figure

Mr Hobnob said...

Meh. Self interested, money grabbing ejits.
Access to VoIP sites - not VoIP services themselves (see the difference?!) - is only blocked because 'eatsalad' and 'doh' can't be arsed to provide their customers with real VAS that will drive revenue for them through data use.
Admittedly, in any grown up country most of the data that people want to access is, errr, dodgy.
However, that still doesn't add up when one considers that eatsalad and doh have some of the highest call rate charges in the world.
And, if you need proof of how successful VoIP can be in helping second, third or fourth market entrants acquire stickt subs, look at the '3' example in the yUK. There a small operator in an already highly penetrated market has acquired good subs by offering Skype pre-loaded on to its contract phones. Nice.

Mohammad said...

Etisalat and Du are both overstaffed, and while I have become used to high prices, the least we ask for is good service. WHen it takes then 1 month to respond to a complaint I make, or when I am unable to watch Youtube videos with a supposd speed of 512 kb/s, its not good enough.
They are both expensive, with subpar services, and wouldnt be able to compete with a number of telecom companies from the 3rd world

lucias george said...

Er, you are forgetting other major reasons that VOIP is blocked.

a) They can not tell who you are phoning.

b) the call itself is encrypted.

J.Gerson said...

Damn. There goes my addiction to reading Star Was slash fic on those teeny tiny screens. Any Obi Wan lookalikes in the room?

vvvvvv said...

I can advise some new services voip providers, voip review. Good review and releases.

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