The United Arab Emirates is set to join the trend towards voice communications being made over the internet as regulations may soon be relaxed.
Currently, there are only two companies allowed to run VoIP services in the country by the UAE's Telecommunications Regulatory Authority. However, there are indications that the watchdog authority may be about to change its approach.
It is anticipated that both small business and large corporate customers will be more likely to make use of hosted VoIP telephony systems if the country's regulatory body decides to allow greater competition.
VoIP services in the UK may find there is a surge of use as people in the British ex-pat community in the UAE get in contact with friends. It is estimated that the community of 60,000 in the Emirates will be eager to keep in touch with the UK at much cheaper prices than before.
The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority has opened VoIP to licensed operators for national calls and is doing a consultation to again license operators for international calls. However, foreign companies would likely be barred from offering services to UAE citizens unless they registered in the country.