After Etisalat Du blocks Free Voice Call Feature of WhatsApp in UAE

By April 2nd, 2015 AT 6:23 PM

WhatsApp Voice CallingWhatsApp is once again under the deadlock in UAE, with the country’s telecom operators blocking its new VoIP-based free voice calling feature. In UAE, only licensed telecom operators are allowed to provide voice calling to the customers and thus, the new feature does not comply with the country’s existing telecom regulation.

It is not the first time that UAE declares a no entry to WhatsApp’s free VoIP calling. In March, Telecom Talk reported about Etisalat blocking VoIP calling feature of WhatsApp to its customers in Dubai, soon within a week of its launch in the country. Similar regulations are applied for services like Viber, Skype and BBM Voice.

In regard to the media coverage of the matter, UAE’s TRA issued a statement saying, “VoIP services are still a prerogative of licensed providers who reserve the right to provide such services through their networks.” It also requested the companies wishing to offer such services to co-ordinate with the licensed telecom providers in the UAE.

Also read:Should Indian telecom operators worry about WhatsApp voice calling feature?

As per an earlier clarification provided by the Du CEO Osman Sulthan in February, the restriction for voice calls are implemented to protect the investment costs of the operators. In a statement given to 7Days newspaper, he also conceded that PC-to-PC usage of Skype is allowed and only the phone calls are restricted.

When UAE follows such restrictions on voice calling to protect the revenue of its telecom operators, Indian operators could also see it a viable option.

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FazalSudhakarujjawalSurya SenguptaDeepak Vasudevan Recent comment authors
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Surya Sengupta
Surya Sengupta

Please validate and Recheck your information…. Skype and Viber work fine in Dubai for video & Voice chat. Its only Facetime, BBM Voice, Line & google talk is blocked that too not because of revenue but security reasons.


In Kuwait there is no restriction on using VoIP for personal use*. If you make money with any free or paid VoIP (commercial usage via booths), you will be jailed.

* means – the website of all VoIP providers are blocked. But you can download via google playstore or via


You are right about Skype. However i believe BBM Voice is working for a few users since Mid march.


We will face it soon

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