WhatsApp Calls Might Be Coming To the UAE Soon
The UAE is considering making WhatsApp calls accessible in an effort to boost the economy in the country.
If the ban gets lifted, WhatsApp will be the first free Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to be available in the country.
“There might be a lift of that ban for [WhatsApp] voice calls or broadcasting of many of the things that they do," Mohammad Al Kuwaiti, The Executive Director of The UAE’s National Electronic Security Authority, told CNBC.
“And this is going to happen soon, this is what we know and understand from the telecommunication authority here in the UAE.”
Al Kuwaiti also added CNBC’s programme “Capital Connection” that the reason the UAE is considering lifting the ban now is to increase relations with big tech platforms on national security initiatives.
“The collaboration with WhatsApp has actually increased, and in many of those [projects] we saw a very good understanding [from them] of the concept we have,” he said.
Currently, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has blocked the use of many VoIP applications in the UAE including Skype, Tango, FaceTime, and Violet.
The only VoIP applications that are available in the UAE are Botim, C’me, and YzerChat but all of them need to be paid for.
“When it comes to telecommunications, we are working very closely with our strategic partners and the telecommunication industry to understand with them how we can lift these kind of restrictions to boost our economy more,” Dr Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, Director General of the Smart Dubai Office told Gulf News.
The TRA refused to comment on this issue when contacted by Gulf News on Thursday and there is no confirmation as to when to expect this to happen.
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