Will video calls remain free after Covid-19, FNC asks Etisalat, du

Ismail Sebugwaawo /Abu Dhabi Filed on June 10, 2020 | Last updated on June 10, 2020 at 07.47 pm
Zoom, Microsoft Teams, free internet calling, coronavirus, covid-19


The TRA, in coordination with telecom operators, had in March announced the availability of several applications for free.

The Federal National Council (FNC) members on Wednesday asked the telecommunications regulator whether video call apps will continue to be free after the nation overcomes the Covid-19 pandemic. However, no clear answer was given as the parties "authorised to respond" didn't attend the virtual meeting.

FNC member Aisha Al Yateem raised a question to representatives of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) and telecom companies Etisalat and du about the future of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) calls.

Representatives from Etisalat and du, however, did not attend the meeting and sent through their apologies.

TRA representatives told the members that they were not the authority responsible for VoIP apps and therefore not the authorised party to answer the question.

The TRA, in coordination with the UAE telecom operators, had in March announced the availability of several applications for free as school learning went online and residents worked from home.

Emiratisation at telecom firms

During the meeting, the FNC Committee on Technical Affairs, Energy and Mineral Resources had presented to the council a report that showed figures regarding Emiratis and expatriates at Etisalat and du from 2017 to 2019. The report suggested that the companies had 5,338 employees, of which 1,787 were Emiratis.

The report showed that the number of expat employees at the firms was double that of Emiratis.


Ismail Sebugwaawo

A professional journalist originating from Kampala, Uganda, Ismail is a happy father with strong attachment to family and great values for humanity. He has practiced journalism in UAE for the past 13 years, covering the country's parliament (FNC) and crimes, including Abu Dhabi Police, public prosecution and courts. He also reports about important issues in education, public health and the environment, with a keen interest in human interest stories. When out of reporting duties, he serves the Ugandan community in Abu Dhabi as he wants to see his countrymen happy. Exercising and reading are part of his free time.

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