Skype the video calling app is blocked in UAE as recently Etisalat and du have both confirmed the news about ban on Skype in the UAE, and these two companies are offering alternative solutions.
After the ban in UAE, Both du and Etisalat have provided the VoIP-based apps Botim and C’Me as part of their “unlimited” voice and video call services.
On the other hand, they do come with a monthly charge.
Earlier a statement was given by UAE’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) confirmed that any applications or services of this type have to fulfill the applicable regulatory framework in the country.
Right to use such VoIP services is still a prerogative of the licensed providers who keep the legal right to give such services by their networks. And companies wishing to offer such services must co-ordinate with the licensed telecom providers in the UAE.
No matter if Skype is not available in your state here are some alternatives to get legally Skype app in your territory.
What are legal alternatives to Skype in the UAE?
In a bid to provide VoIP services legally, both telecom providers have recommended and opted VoIP-based apps BOTIM and C’Me. These apps are now both supplementary as part of their “unlimited” voice and video call services.
Here’s how you can get it.
Users of Etisalat can subscribe by sending an SMS ‘ICP’ to 1012 or via their Etisalat app. There is starting fee of Dh50 for mobile users on monthly basis.
On the other hand, du users can SMS ‘Netcall’ to 1355.
Things which you need to know
- Well, if you are going to subscribe this service from your home’s Wi-Fi account, either it Etisalat’s eLife or du’s home services, note down that all devices connected to the home Wi-Fi will have unlimited access to the app.
(This is great option if you make the most of your calls from your home. And yes charges are Dh100 per month, for both Etisalat and du.)
- You can make video or voice calls to any other user at anyplace in the world, after buying the Plan one time. But, those users require to have either BOTIM or C’ME installed on their device as well.
- Etisalat has mentioned that these fees are excluding the 5% VAT charge.
- It is important to mention here that when not connected to a Wi-Fi network, your mobile data usage will be charged.
- When you think about estimated data usage, you could expect to use about 2MB of your data for a 10-minute voice call. A 10-minute video call would eat up around 35MB of data. Yet again, this depends on the model and conditions of your phone.
- The VPN debate. While using Virtual Private Networks can have its benefits, the use of the technology can be considered illegal in the UAE. Private individuals, aside from corporate organisations, don’t run the risk of going to jail and paying a fine as long as they don’t use VPN to commit a crime.
While, according to the TRA’s internet guidelines on banned content, point 14 on illegal communication services, states,
“This category includes internet content that promotes or allows access to illegal communication services according to a regulation or decision by the competent authority.”