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Most popular Voice-over-Internet-Protocol (Vo IP) services are restricted over mobile connections.
Etisalat and Du are the only operators licensed to provide paid Vo IP services, while the free or low-cost over-the-top (OTT) voice calls services provided by Whats App, Skype, and others are only accessible through fixed-line or Wi-Fi connections.
Separately, Skype was blocked in December 2017, followed by after a user created an online petition on the platform to appeal the block.
In March 2018, the state media oversight body announced new regulations for electronic media that would govern “all online activities, including e-commerce; publishing and selling of print, video, and audio material; as well as advertising.” Social media influencers who engage in commercial transactions must now apply for licenses, which are awarded based on a number of qualifications, such as age, a clean criminal record, good reputation, and a university degree.
Lumen is a dating app, specifically designed for over 50s to meet genuine like-minded singles.
Emirati users enjoy a robust information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure and high connection speeds.
However, the major telecom companies are either fully or partially state-owned, resulting in high prices and weak competition.
The UAE government maintains a 60 percent stake in Etisalat through its ownership in the Emirates Investment Company, The two companies are also the major mobile phone operators.
In January 2017, Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC), the company behind Du, stated it will launch a new mobile provider under the Virgin Mobile brand.Whats App’s voice feature was blocked shortly after it was introduced in March 2015, Internet service providers (ISPs) in the UAE are either fully or partially owned by the state, allowing authorities to exert control over the flow of information.