Thursday, August 24, 2006

Monopoly: A matter of national security? :: 7DAYS

Sites such as Skype have been blocked in much of the UAE for months, but at the weekend were also blocked in other areas, such as free zones, which were previously unaffected by the telecoms proxy server block.
. . .
Some alleged the interests of operators such as Etisalat were being placed above those of consumers saying that “talking to family and friends cannot be against moral beliefs, the policy must be purely based on financial grounds.”An Etisalat spokesman defended the company saying it’s up to the TRA [the government regulatory authority] to allow or ban VOIP.

“Etisalat is just a communication provider which operates under the rules and regulations set by the TRA,” he added.

Last night Osman Sultan, the CEO of Du, the new telecoms operator due to begin in the UAE later this year, confirmed that his company would have to abide by any TRA ban on VOIP. Last night a spokesman for the TRA said it is currently studying the issue and had not come to a decision. But another TRA source, who did not wish to be named, added: “This is not just about cheap phone calls for consumers, there are aspects of national security and operators’ interest that has to be addressed and investigated.
If the TRA was interested in low prices for consumers, then perhaps it should have allowed VOIP to compete the Etisilat monopoly. Instead they have created the Etisilat v. Du duopoly. The duopolists are of course happy to have the TRA ban VOIP. They are happy, too, that the TRA will prevent Etisilat and Du competing against each other.

Du ... duopolist. Hey, I think I've figured out how Du got its name. Actually, I think Du spells its name du.



Blogger BarfUser said...

Yes, du does spell its name in all lower-case letters (and provides some wags with a chance to suggest: "du...mb"). Now, the Gulf News has started using "etisalat" in their news articles, leading to some bizarre problems when this all-lower-case construct is used to begin paragraphs.

[eye rolls] all around.

12:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Skype happens to be the only VoIP service that cannot be monitored or detected. Skype traffic apparently looks no different than regular Internet traffic. I bet that somebody from the Bush House would love to get a grip on that! No wonder Etisalat has spent a fortune blocking it. Well, Etisalat can strike two birds with one stone, that is maintain monopoly profits and the blessing of the Bush House. Ain't that pathetic?

8:38 PM  

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