I got a WhatsApp Call today this morning and was amazed. Since it was blocked in UAE from the time WhatsApp has rolled out this service worldwide. I picked and spoke to my brother, very clearly. Astonished by this, I asked how he made it, by the way we both live in UAE. Outgoing and Incoming both kind of calling features does not work in UAE with WhatsApp. He mentioned to me he read some news and found out that service was allowed by authorities. I got so excited by this news as the proof was already working call by my brother. After sometime I got curious, that’s my nature. So I started to do some research about WhatsApp Calling within the context of UAE.
WhatsApp is a mobile app that works on multiple smartphone including but not limited to IPhone, Android Phones, Windows Phone and Blackberry phones. It is widely known for text and multimedia messaging. WhatsApp Calling both Video and Audio was rolled out near the end of 2016. Since then its not working in UAE.
All telecommunication is regulated by TRA (Telecommunications Regulatory Authority) in UAE and so I jumped to there website and went briefly through headlines of their press release section but didn’t find any information regarding this change in WhatsApp Calling or VOIP services. So I jumped to Google and started searching for news articles on the subject. I found 2 nation’s well-known newspaper articles from GulfNews as well as KhaleejTimes. Below are both the articles.
According to both the articles, TRA has not changed any policy. This means the WhatsApp Calling should not work in UAE as per the regulatory authorities laws and rules. But astonishingly its working.
After reading the articles completely and thoroughly I learned that the WhatsApp calling is happening due to some update within WhatsApp own app itself. So WhatsApp might have changed something in its algorithm or any network communication system and hence the service started to work.
Regarding quality of calls I can not comment since it depends on multiple factors, such as your smartphone, operator and network (3G/4G/LTE etc.). In my personal experience the quality of sound on both end was good and clear. My brother is a big fan of Android and I use Iphone, I am sure so the network is the biggest factor in quality of service and the phone will have very little impact on the quality.
So the rumour is that UAE authorities allowed the service in UAE. The authorities have clarified it will be ultimately banned. They have not authorized or allowed this service including any other VOIP service.
The fact is that its working as of now but there is no guarantee of how long will this continue to work. It will stop working as the authorities will ask the service provider to stop it and comply with country’s regulation about VOIP.
So enjoy the service as long as its working but be careful that it can stop working any time.