Big Golf Balls!
BGB the other day was responding to questions about the blocking of PC VOIP services such as Skype. Etisalat's head of public relations, Ahmad Bin Ali, denied using VOIP was ever legal. "Internet telephony up until now is illegal to use in the UAE. Etisalat can't make these laws. There's no law." I think he just shot himself in the foot there. The law says nothing about VOIP (as it never said anything about the InterWeb). But his presumption is that that must mean it is illegal!
Front page news on today's Gulf News - a Dhs 4 billion rival to Etisalat has just got an operating licence. Probably a year ago, it was announced that Etisalat would no longer have a monopoly on telecoms services. The Telecoms Regulation Authority was established, and its very first press release said that new entrants must give 51% shareholding to the Gubmnt. Hence the absolute lack of interest from foreign telecoms operators. Etisalat-2 seems to be owned by various Gubmnt agencies, and is likely therefore to be no more than a palliative to the WTO rather than a genuine competitor who would drive down prices.
I'm waiting to be proved wrong.