Triska Hamid | January 23, 2014
Dubai Police claim that the country’s telcos are losing out on as much as Dh14,400 an hour on international voice calls that are being rerouted to a kind of illegal server called a SimBox.
The technology allows consumers to circumvent Etisalat and du’s international networks by dialling a local number that is connected to a server outside of the country. From there they can dial their international number and make calls at a significantly lower price. Essentially, it means that they are charged local rates for international calls.
With an average tariff rate of Dh5 a minute to make international calls on du and Etisalat’s networks, it is no wonder that people are turning to these rogue suppliers to call their loved ones back home.
The solution is not for Dubai Police to waste resources tracking down the SimBox call suppliers, but to work with du and Etisalat to lower the cost of international calls.
Consumers are being heavily charged, so it is only inevitable that they will seek out alternatives. People who do not have access to smartphones or a Wi-Fi network to make calls on voice over internet protocol (VOIP) services like Skype or Tango are turning to SimBox suppliers, and with some of the highest telecoms prices in the world, who can blame them?