UAE Says RIM Played Ball, Will Maintain BlackBerry Service9:42 AM EST Fri. Oct. 08, 2010
The United Arab Emirates will not suspend services on BlackBerry smartphones next week, following an agreement reached with BlackBerry maker Research In Motion that is said to comply with UAE policy. It'll be a relief for the roughly 500,000 BlackBerry users in the UAE, a turnaround on the planned Oct. 11 service suspension.
In a brief statement, the UAE's Telecommunications Regulatory Authority said that BlackBerry services "are now compliant with the UAE's telecommunications regulatory framework." A solution has been "applied," according to the TRA, which did not provide further details on what that solution entails but did indicate that RIM was cooperative.
"The TRA would like to acknowledge the positive engagement and collaboration of Research In Motion (RIM) in reaching this regulatory compliant outcome," said the statement.
The UAE is one of several countries, including India and Saudi Arabia, that have threatened to suspend BlackBerry services this year. The crux of the issue was a concern by UAE regulators that BlackBerry data traverses RIM servers outside the UAE and can't be monitored by the government, prompting the UAE's Aug. 1 declaration that it would ban BlackBerry services like e-mail and Web browsing starting in October.
RIM responded at the time by telling users that it can't access BlackBerry data and would not accommodate any request to un-encrypt that data.
NEXT: RIM Staying Mum?
RIM did not respond immediately to a request for additional comment by CRN. It remains unclear what, if any, concessions RIM made to the UAE government to prevent the services suspension.