Friday, October 20, 2006

Users Bemoan Loss Of Net Phones In UAE

Etisalat, the Emirates' chief telecom and Internet provider, began to block Skype and other Internet phone providers this summer, arguing they had no license to sell phone service. Etisalat's profits have soared since then.
. . .
State-controlled phone company Etisalat is the prime beneficiary of the Skype shutdown. So is an emerging telecom provider known only as "du," which, like Etisalat, is linked to the government but has sold public shares on local stock exchanges.

Asked whether the Skype ban had improved Etisalat's revenues, company spokesman Ammar Thuwaini said he had no "fixed figures" on the effects.

But the carrier's profitability increased dramatically after the ban. In the second quarter this year, Etisalat reported profits jumped to $403 million, 30 percent more than the same period last year. The carrier's third-quarter profits leaped by 41 percent to $427 million.

The Emirates isn't alone in blocking Skype and similar VoIP services, generally using filtering software sometimes developed by U.S. companies.

Internet telephony is illegal in most Gulf Arab states except Bahrain.

John Palfrey, a Harvard law professor who studies Internet censorship, said he has had reports of blockages by other governments that practice Internet censorship, mainly in North Africa, China, Southeast Asia and former Soviet republics.

By contrast, U.S. regulators won't tolerate efforts by phone companies that provide Internet access to block their customers' use of competing VoIP services.

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Anonymous VoIP User said...

Etisalat is wasting its time and resources trying to block VoIP. I am in Dubai and still use Skype. All that is needed are two small software applications: privoxy and vidalia. Tada!... There is a theory that Etisalat is striking two birds with one stone. Bird 1: Enhanced profits. Bird 2: Satisfying its masters in the USA to prevent potential "freedom haters" from using Skype which is undetectable and unbreakable.

4:01 PM  
Blogger bizzwhizz said...

thats how monopolies are built and plus everyone is in business for money.

12:44 AM  
Blogger Donald said...

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3:50 AM  
Blogger alex smith said...

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11:34 AM  

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