By Lisa Barrington
DUBAI (Reuters) – Residents in the United Arab Emirates and other Gulf states are urging telecom firms to further ease restrictions on free internet calls as coronavirus separates families and forces people to work and study from home.
The UAE’s two telecommunications firms Etisalat and Du said they recently enabled Microsoft (NASDAQ:) Teams over both wifi and mobile data connections as well as Blackboard, Zoom and CloudTalk — but appear to continue to block more popular applications.
“Please just listen to us. Unblock Skype, WhatsApp, FaceTime, even if it’s just temporary. 80% of the country is away from their homes,” urged Twitter user @danielmarcevans.
“If not now during the spread of the virus to allow us to communicate with our families, then when?” user Basem Saif tweeted on Sunday.