Skype is reportedly in talks with Bahrain authorities to set up its Middle East headquarters, despite being outlawed by many surrounding countries.
Middle East media reports
confirmed that the Luxembourg-based firm had contacted the Bahrain Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) and was in negotiations to set up shop.
TRA chairman Dr Mohammed Al Amer said at a press conference, “their interest is serious and negotiations are ongoing.” The general director of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), said the move was “totally welcomed”.
The Skype application has been operational in Bahrain for the past two-and-a-half years but is banned from Oman and the UAE.
Middle East carriers view Skype as a threat to their revenue base and try to maintain a strong control over VoIP technology.
The chairman of UAE-based Etisalat, Mohammed Omran, said in May that lifting the ban on Skype would slash the firm’s revenue from international calls.
The Bahrain RTA appears to be courting investment and competition.
“Water flows down the course with the least resistance. Here’s a technology that’s futuristic, and why should consumers be blocked from using such a technology? That’s our view, other countries take a different view,” Horne was quoted as saying in Arabian Business.com.