UAE's Court to Rule in Landmark Internet-to-Phone Case
The Dubai court of first instance will issue its final ruling on May 2 in a landmark case involving one of two companies involved in transferring telephone calls from the United States to the UAE at local rates, reported the Gulf News.
The case involving the second company was adjourned on Wednesday until April 24 to allow Emirates Telecommunications Corp's (Etisalat) lawyer to respond.
Both companies, Al Aqrab for Information Technology and Gulf e-Business, are alleged to have worked with two US companies to defraud Etisalat, said the paper.
It is claimed that they were a vital link in allowing telephone calls from the US to be charged at local rates in the UAE.
A caller in the US would contact one of the companies. It would then route the call via the Internet to the UAE. The two UAE companies then transferred the call to Etisalat's network. Calls would be charged to the two companies at local rates.
Etisalat took legal action after subscribers said they were receiving international calls from the US which were showing up as local calls on their bills, said Hamad Al Mehairi, Etisalat's lawyer.
Etisalat has accused Al Aqrab for Information Technology and Gulf e-Business of illegally bypassing its service, thus depriving it of revenue from international calls, he told the paper.
The two companies were also accused of conspiring with US companies to prevent international calls from passing through Etisalat's international telephone network.
On May 2, the court will give its ruling in the case of Al Aqrab for Information Technology company.
The defense on Wednesday admitted the accusations, but claimed that what the company was not illegal, the paper added.
The defense asked the court to throw the case out.
In the second case, the court was told Gulf e-Business company obtained a license from Dubai Internet City.
The company, added the paper, admitted transferring calls from the Internet to Etisalat's network, but claimed it was just for a few seconds while they were experimenting with the equipment.
The company also claimed that since it was a limited liability company the responsibility should not lie with the two defendants but with the company itself. The two had confessed to police and the prosecution that they had agreed with Quick Link, an American based company, to transfer calls from the US from last June 26 - Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)