UAE - Several UAE residents told Khaleej Timeson Fridaythat they were able to access WhatsApp voice calls even others said nothing seems to have changed for them.
Residents said they were able to make voice calls to their friends and relatives via WhatsApp, with some claiming that they were able to make international calls too even as such calls did not last for longer than a few minutes. "I used both du WiFi and data, and calling worked," said a Dubai resident.
This isn't the first time that UAE residents have been able to access WhatsApp calling. In June 2017, several UAE residents discovered that the voice and video calling feature of WhatsApp was enabled on their devices.
The euphoria was short-lived as the UAE's Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) had then, once again, clarified that there was no change in the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) policy in the country.
The TRA has on several occasions maintained that any application or service of this type must comply with the applicable regulatory framework in the country.
TRA maintains that "VoIP services are still a prerogative of the licensed providers who reserve the right to provide such services through their networks. Companies wishing to offer such services must coordinate with the licensed telecom providers in the UAE".
Nevertheless, several users also told Khaleej Times yesterday that the feature did not work for them. Rohit (name changed on request) said that he tried calling his friends from India but the call didn't go through. "My calls to India were connecting but there was no clear audio," he said.
In December 2017, access to Skype - a popular VoIP app was also blocked in the country. UAE-based telecom company Etisalat said that access to Skype has been blocked over unlicensed VoIP calls.
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