Microsoft reportedly ‘hopeful’ the UAE Skype ban will soon be lifted

The tech giant has been working with authorities to get Skype unblocked.

Skype is currently banned in the UAE under the country’s Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) policy, but Microsoft has suggested that could change in the near future.

In April, it was reported that the UAE’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) was in talks with both Microsoft and Apple to look at the possibility of lifting restrictions on services like Skype and FaceTime.

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Everything you need to know about the Skype ban in the UAE

While little seems to have come of that meeting so far, this week Microsoft told The National it is still hopeful of a deal.

“We are passionate about the benefits that Skype offers to our users around the world by facilitating communication and enabling collaboration,” the tech giant said in a statement.

Earlier this year, TRA director general Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori told Arabic newspaper Al Ittihad that discussions around the issue were “ongoing”.

He emphasised the need to maintain strong ties with the tech companies as they continue to expand in the UAE.

Currently, only Etisalat and Du are licensed to offer VoIP services in the UAE. Both of their services are paid.

The TRA says on its website: “Any person using VoIP services which are not provided by a licensee… may be committing a criminal offence.”

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