UAE telecoms company Etisalat has launched an international voice over internet protocol (VoIP) calling card in the Emirates, local daily Gulf News reported on Tuesday.
The calling card has been launched to compete with Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC), the holding company of Du, which introduced the first VoIP calling card – Hello! – in April 2010, the report added.
The Hello! card has been available in the market for two years but is not marketed under Du’s brand name.
“Hello! cards are available only at select outlets and targeted at labourers,” the newspaper quoted a Du spokesperson as saying.
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The new card from Etisalat, known as Five, offers discounted call rates to Bangladesh, China, India, Kuwait, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Sri Lanka for as little as 40 fils per minute, the report said.
Etisalat, however has not made any comment about the card, but a call centre person said the cards are sold at all business centres, the report said.
“The card can be used for both mobile and landline and is approved by the TRA. The cards are sold at all Etisalat business centres, major shopping malls and grocery stores in the UAE,” Gulf News cited a call centre agent as saying.
“At present there are two licensees which are legally entitled to engage in or conduct regulated activities in the State. It is not the TRA’s present intention to issue any further licences that would allow the holders of such licences to provide VoIP services,” TRA said on its website dated December 30, 2009.