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Monday, March 15, 2010

TRA’s green signal to VoIP services

The long-pending hopes of the telephone users in the UAE to make VoIP calls without being hassled by the fears of violating laws of the land, appear to be near fruition.

Telecommunications Regulatory Authority or TRA on Monday announced the policy framework permitting the country’s two popular licenced operators Etisalat, Du to provide the VoIP service to all categories of customers.

Within hours of release of the TRA policy, Etisalat announced its decision to provide its business customers with reliable and secure VoIP solutions, with immediate effect. However, the ordinary customers of Etisalat will have to wait for some more time to make VoIP calls, as the telecom operator was working out the required business models for providing such services based on the just-released TRA policy.

When contacted by Khaleej Times a spokesman for the Du also said they would get back with the official response from the company quickly on the introduction of the services.

Releasing the VoIP policy, Mohammed Gheyath, the Executive Director at the TRA said the VoIP facility would be part of the portfolio of services being provided by the licenced telecom operators like Etisalat and Du. The licenced telecom operators would decide as to when they will introduce the services and what would the tariff plan. ``They would be able to decide on these issues after evaluating the market conditions, and we would also be watching the market till the year-end,’’ he said.

TRA has granted permission to provide VoIP facilities to the satellite-based telephone service providers Thuraya and Yahsat. While Thuraya is already in operation, Yahsat would launch its operations only after the Yahsat 1 Satellite is put into orbit and starts operation next year.

TRA has made it clear that the telephone users can make use of the VoIP services only through the telecom licence holders like Etisalat and Du. However in special cases like the educational and research institutions there could be some exception, if they are using the services for education and research purposes.

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Monday, March 01, 2010

VoIP over 3G is highly affordable

Writing on his personal blog, Hydrapinion, technology journalist Ian Grayson has stressed the benefits of transmitting VoIP traffic over 3G.

The advent of 3G has, accorded to Mr Grayson, increased the quality and reliability of mobile VoIP, with 3G now serving as a legitimate method of transmission for large VoIP networks.

And the plummeting cost of data is contributing to the benefit of a VoIP service, with the cost in of VoIP data rates in Australia having fallen from $100 (£58.50) a gigabyte to around $15 (£8.70) today.

And Mr Grayson writes that, according to one of his sources, you can "squeeze around 500 minutes of voice calls out of [a] one gigabyte data allowance".

And with Virgin Media now offering 100Mbps (Megabits per second) broadband to some locations in the UK at an affordable price, the savings made possible by VoIP look set to increase.

A further benefit is that, as broadband availability and economy increases, the amount of VoIP traffic that can be affordably supported increases.

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