Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 1 June 2020

Coronavirus: Telecoms regulator says Skype for businesses available to use in UAE

The video and voice calling app can be accessed via fixed line internet networks only

The UAE's telecoms regulator defined which free calling apps could be used in the country.  AFP PHOTO / Eric BARADAT
The UAE's telecoms regulator defined which free calling apps could be used in the country.  AFP PHOTO / Eric BARADAT

The UAE telecoms regulator confirmed on Tuesday that a number of video and voice calling apps were temporarily being authorised for use in the country including Skype's service for businesses.

There have been reports in recent weeks highlighting a growing consumer appetite for more free to use VoIP - or internet calling - apps such as on Skype and WhatsApp messenger to be made available while a number of travel restrictions are in place due the precautionary measures related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) said "exceptionally and until further notice" the Microsoft's Skype for Business and Google Hang Out apps would work via fixed line internet networks.

Workplace collaboration platform Microsoft Teams, video calling app Zoom, and educational service Blackboard are available on mobile and fixed line internet networks.

"In the context of the current situation" and with the aim of supporting distance learning amid the closure of schools and universities and the growing number of people working from home, "the TRA, in co-ordination with the UAE telecom operators, announces the availability of a group of applications," a statement from the regulator said on Tuesday.

The TRA said it would "periodically" review the list.

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