On the eve of Eid Al Fitr, there is good news for the expat community in United Arab Emirates as they can now connect with their families instantly using WhatsApp.
The residents of UAE woke up to a pleasant surprise on Thursday morning, when they discovered that voice and video calls on WhatsApp had been enabled. Phones were ringing across Dubai, India, US, UK, when people called their friends and family to share the news.
Earlier, video and voice calls on the instant messaging service WhatsApp were blocked in the country as they are a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service. However, messages on WhatsApp groups and social media platforms hinted that the calls have started working since today morning.
In a statement, the UAE's Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) clarified that “there is no change in the UAE’s Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Policy. TRA reconfirms that any applications or services of this type must comply with the applicable regulatory framework in the country.”
In a previous statement, TRA had said 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 co-ordinate with the licensed telecom providers in the UAE."