Thursday, August 31, 2006

Cheap VoIP from Etisalat?

There are many commentators talking about the alleged introduction of VoIP from Etisalat. They all refer to it as 'cheap calls by VoIP".

VoIP is in itself not inherently cheap. The cost depends entirely on what the provider decides to charge.

The reason it's cheap from overseas-based providers is simple - there's a lot of competition.

Why on earth do these self-professed experts assume that Etisalat, with no competition whatsoever, will price its VoIP cheaply?

VoIP by Etisalat? Almost certain to happen I would suggest. But cheap? Down at the sort of levels that Skype, MyWebCalls and all the others charge? Not in a million years.

The only thing that's going to improve the technology, improve the service, reduce the rates is competition. Don't believe that du will be competition by the way, it's just an alternative government controlled provider.

And don't hold your breath for an open policy with free and fair competition.

So what can we expect? The slow introduction of marginally better technology, but we'll still be way behind where we should be. Not much else will change.


trailingspouse said...

Spot on. I wonder how much they have invested in their fancy blocking technology? And do they not realize how foolish they look by taking this giant step backwards? VoIP has been around for at least 10 years. That's a lifetime in the history of the internet.

The only hope is that the internet is such a subversive place that there will always be someone out there with a way around it.

Seabee said...

Hardly supportive of Dubai's push to be a modern international commercial centre is it!

anonymous lurker said...

even *if* the du/etisalat/controlling govt agency whose name escapes me lets voip happen - the transmission lines and speed of the internet is so friggi n slow in the uae that the service will be awful.

at least on an old fashioned landline a conversation can be had w/o too many pauses and breaks.

of course if the price is right most folks will just work around the service problems.

Anonymous said...

They certainly have the money to bring it on.
Alex, SIP