Etisalat launches new calling app plan days after Skype disruptions

The unlimited calling plan enables UAE subscribers to use government-approved VoIP apps at a fixed rate of Dh52.50 a month 

Etisalat has launched a new payment plan for internet calls. Satish Kumar / The National

Etisalat have launched a new internet calling plan, 11 days after UAE Skype users noticed that Skype calls stopped working.

The unlimited calling plans enable UAE subscribers to use government-approved voice over internet protocol (VoIP) apps at a fixed rate of Dh52.50 a month for use on mobile devices, and Dh105 a month to use over a computer connected to an eLife account.

BOTIM and C’Me are currently the only apps that comply to UAE regulatory framework requirements for VoIP calling. Both parties need to download one of the two apps to connect.

du offers a similar internet calling package at the same price, and BOTIM and C’Me are also the only VoIP apps that can be used on the package, according to their website.

According to a statement, Etisalat said that other VoIP apps could be added to their package in the future.

A customer service representative informed The National, however, that users based outside of the UAE may not need to pay for the government approved app at this time. “As per our information, this application is not chargeable in any other country,” they said.

They also said that this could change and is at the discretion of the overseas internet service provider.

The monthly fee, which amounts to Dh1,260 a year, will be charged automatically every 30 days.

The use of VPNs, often used to circumvent local internet restrictions, remains illegal.


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