Hang up


Dubai, United Arab Emirates :: When telecom regulators in this country cut access to the popular Internet phone program Skype, the price of international calling skyrocketed.
“The shutdown triggered an uproar among foreign residents who form about 80 percent of the population of the Emirates, a wealthy country with some of the world’s highest levels of Internet penetration.

As the ban was phased in, Internet voice connections that cost about 2 cents a minute went dead. The remaining option was a bitter one: Pay about 75 cents per minute to phone Britain and 60 cents to call the United States during peak hours.

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.

Like other Voice over Internet Protocol systems, Skype breaks sounds into data packets just like e-mail and Web traffic and reassembles them at the recipient’s end. VoIP calls are much cheaper because they travel over the open Internet and don’t tie up dedicated circuits like regular phone calls.

‘People don’t understand the harm of a provider that has no obligations to this country,” said Mohammed Ghuaith, director of technology for the Emirates Telecommunication Regulatory Authority. “Are the conversations secure? Are they being recorded? Will they steal information? Will they sell it? These are the things we need to look at.'”

Why the word obligation? Obligation to what? Security? What about the Internet overall, regular and cell phone lines? Skype is the ultimate threat in Dubai?? C’mon. This is ridiculous. So many families and even foreign businesses use this Estonian-based VoIP and should not be regulated by monopoly telecoms! Etisalat’s revenue has skyrocketed because of the power of their monopoly.

This aggrevates me because people don’t only use Skype for the low prices, but also for the conference/messaging medium which has contributed to successful meetings and synchronization of business operations.



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