By Ed Attwood
Research In Motion co-CEO refuses to discuss suspension threats in UAE, Saudi
Just a week after a breakthrough in negotiations led to a planned suspension of BlackBerry smartphones in the UAE being lifted, device manufacturer Research In Motion (RIM) has announced a raft of initiatives in association with both the local regulator and the two telecoms companies in the country.
The partnership will see RIM working to deliver increased collaboration between the UAE government and the country’s population via the BlackBerry platform, as well as delivering e-government solutions.
The Canadian company will collaborate with the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), as well as Etisalat and Du.
Jim Balsillie, co-CEO of RIM, described the UAE as being a “very sophisticated and highly collaborative market” in a speech given during Gitex Technology Week in Dubai today.
“We’re going to release details of partnership on e-government, specialised consumer services, as well as mobilizing enterprise services, for the Middle East, specialised mobile services with BlackBerry,” Balsillie said.
The plans include payment solutions for customers of Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) via the BlackBerry.
Balsillie declined to speak to journalists about the halted BlackBerry suspension.
Speaking after the event, the TRA’s director-general told reporters that the agreement with RIM that averted the suspension of BlackBerry services was "final". Mohammed Al Ghanim declined to give further details.
The BlackBerry device has been the subject of numerous threatened suspensions across the world, as governments seek to access to its encrypted email and messaging devices.
RIM’s accord announced on October 8, which averted a ban planned for October 11, came after Saudi Arabia cancelled a planned shutdown of BlackBerry services and the Indian government said it would push back a deadline to suspend BlackBerry services as it works toward a solution.
Hope similar common sense prevails with RIM for the Indian market. At the same time, Indian govt should also be serious and remain firm rather than going on extending the deadlines!
Its a fine-line, Like Google's issue in China.- I think BB is making a huge mistake by allowing the e-gov altering the commu technology. Basically you guys are okay with the gov reading your emails, and interfering with your personal life. and not to mentioned Its going to be a tool for the Gov to crackdown on protesters in case of an election etc..(like Iran) Keep the technology out of the Govs hands. Your emails should be private and no one should have a right to read it unless with a consent.