CIO Middle East recently asked me about recent moved by the UAE’s Telecommunications Regulation Authority (TRA) to unblock certain VoIP and video call apps. In March 2020, the TRA lifted a long-held ban on a few popular apps such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom as it announced measures to promote remote working.
It’s an interesting subject since, although the UAE is one of the most technologically advanced nations on the planet, pressure from telecom service providers has effectively blocked the usage of most of the world’s most popular voice and video call apps, such as Facetime, Skype and Whatsapp. So, now having allowed access to a number of video call apps, what will happen when the coronavirus emergency ends? Will the TRA block those apps again or does this mark the beginning of a new era of policy?
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