UAE lifted the ban on WhatsApp voice & video calls!

Calling features of Whatsapp, one of the most popular messaging platforms across the world are now active in the UAE. Though it has not been officially confirmed by TRA but people of UAE have shared their excitement on media. It was brought to notice on Thursday, February 6.

The same has been confirmed by local media reports who tested both voice and video calling features of WhatsApp. People who tested the features using different combinations of networks (Wifi/mobile data) and devices found the call quality not satisfactory. The call quality was grainy but the working features gave them the comfort factor.

The success criteria of video and audio services were evaluated on a number of devices and network providers but nothing concrete has been concluded about the pattern. Also, international video and audio calling via the app was reported unsuccessful. In other words, WhatsApp calls and videos are restricted to the UAE region.

To date, UAE regulators had applied a ban on key communication channels like  Skype, WhatsApp, Snapchat, and FaceTime. The only apps which complied with the norms of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) in UAE and Dubai were Botim, C’Me and HiU Messenger.

It was due to the non-compliance issues, the UAE’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) had not given a green signal to voice and video calls using WhatsApp. But, the news about the possibility of the lifting of ban had been doing rounds for some time.

“There might be a lift of that ban for (WhatsApp) voice calls… and this is going to happen soon, this is what we know and understand from the telecommunication authority here in the UAE,” in an interview to CNBC, Al Kuwaiti, executive director of the UAE’s National Electronic Security Authority.

With this, the ban on the service appears to have been lifted on the popular messaging application. In the absence of official confirmation, it needs to be seen whether it is really a progressive policy change or is it a temporary measure!

Written by Rashmi


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