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BlackBerry Service to be Suspended in UAE from October 11

Imran Ahmed Shah writes: Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (TRA) announced on Sunday to ban Blackberry Services, this ban will take effect on October 11. This ban will affect hundreds of thousands of BlackBerry users who access Internet, e-mail and messaging services on their mobile handsets. The ban may be extended to foreign visitors (BlackBerry Roaming services), whereas about 100,000 passengers pass through the UAE airport daily.

BlackBerry messaging is secure but encrypted mode service which is based on BlackBerry Internet (GPRS/EDGE) to deliver text messages wirelessly using push technology of Research in Motion (RIM). Encrypted mode text messaging means that text messaging is beyond the readability of any middleware text base searching tools, if that is configured by any ISP or regulatory authorities.

Etisalat and DU both have to follow the regulations of TRA and to minimize their service.

Kuwait may also block BlackBerry services, following Saudi Arabia and UAE decision.

Comments of BlackBerry Service Users are being invited by by Gulf News on how they are affected by the decision.

Alternate Solution – Alternatively the resident users will have to select one of following two options:

1. Either they have to use alternate (compatible) mobile phone and use BlackBerry Connect Services.

2. Or they have to leave BlackBerry Push Email Services and have to migrate (completely) on the other mobile phone devices which provide Email Synchronization Push or without Push Services. In this case, new mobile phone will be configured to access email and/or global contact database from email servers but there is no option available for data security or remote wipeout. Similarly, without Push Email Service, users will only be able to pick email message whenever they will click to synchronize.

However, adopting either case, they would not be able to use BlackBerry Messenger. They have to shift either on text SMS service or onto Yahoo/Google or Live Messaging services on their mobile phones.

Investment of millions of dollar is on the risk which is related to the provisioning of BlackBerry Services and includes BlackBerry Enterprise Server Licenses, Hardware Machines, BlackBerry Phone Devices and Internet Services. However, this business will be migrated onto other email service compatible mobile phones such as Nokia, iPhone and Windows Mobile Phones.

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Alternate Solution - Only one - Just Leave BB By Imran Ahmed Shah  –  Aug 03, 2010 1:34 am PST

Just to update review comments that the above listed first option for alternate solution will not work, if the BlackBerry Services are completely withdrawn by the all of the Mobile Phone Operators. In this way BlackBerry Service will also be terminated which includes traffic to the RIM Service Centers. All of the current data traffic of BlackBerry is routed through RIM Service Centers. If the regulating authority declare all encapsulated/encrypted traffic as not bound, roaming users will also be badly affected.  According to CNN this decision may affect about half million users.

So, in short, only second option left behind to access email messaging service on the move and to remain in contact with the office and rest of the world.



RIM to give India partial BlackBerry access By Imran Ahmed Shah  –  Aug 17, 2010 2:39 am PST

Research In Motion will provide limited access to BlackBerry instant messages to India by September 1.

RIM & TRA (UAE) signed a deal for e-Gov. Services By Imran Ahmed Shah  –  Oct 19, 2010 2:51 am PST

Research In Motion (RIM) has signed a new agreement with the UAE's Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) and telecom service providers etisalat and du to enable advanced e-government services in the country.

Jim Balsillie, Co-CEO of RIM, told delegates at the technology exhibiton Gitex yesterday that the UAE is "an advanced ICT nation", but steered clear of commenting on the recent lifting of a ban threat by the country on BlackBerry services.

In a keynote address, Basillie said the UAE is "well positioned to meet the future of high technology head on" as it continues to invest in education and training.

Balsillie said his firm has inked a new partnership with the TRA, etisalat and du to boost mobile innovation in the country and across the region.

"One of the things we're working on is advanced e-government services," Balsillie told delegates. RIM is also working with the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa), he said, to boost payment of bills online.

In a statement, Mohammad Bin Ahmad Al Qamzi, TRA Chairman, said: "BlackBerry smartphones are the leading mobile communications tool in the Middle East and are increasingly adopted by our citizens for their powerful messaging and multimedia capabilities. For this reason, the TRA believes this initiative will help to encourage, promote, and develop more public interaction and involvement between the government and the citizens and residents through the BlackBerry platform."

Etisalat chairman Mohammad Omran said in a statement that the new partnership with BlackBerry "supports etisalat's endeavours to offer more mobile banking and commerce applications to its customers."

Othman Sultan, CEO of du, said: "In today's increasingly networked and digital world, smartphones are playing a critical role in providing consumers and enterprises an enriching experience. "BlackBerry (RIM) is an important and committed partner of du."

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