BlackBerry: The Alternative – None

BlackberryCurve

“With no solution available and in the public interest … Blackberry Messenger, Blackberry E-mail and Blackberry Web-browsing services will be suspended until an acceptable solution can be developed and applied,” Telecommunications Regulatory Authority director-general Mohamed al-Ghanim said in a statement carried on state news agency WAM.

I was surprised as anyone else for UAE’s and Saudi’s announcement that they will be cutting off all Blackberry Service of all kinds. Meaning that even if you have a service from another provider from another country it will not work in the UAE or Saudi.

There were announcements a few months back that they were contemplating shutting down the service in Kuwait, but luckily they are too lazy to go through the politics to do it, and it would be an damage many of the telecom company’s bottom end.

They cite security reasons as the main reason not censorship, but the reality is that they have no control over Blackberry services what so ever when people use them. In reality it’s very difficult to figure out someone from their Blackberry PIN, and so they can broadcast msgs, send items to people without having it intercepted or scanned. Blackberry came on fire over the past two years in the MiddleEast, everybody wanted the service, and it really took off. But the authorities weren’t to happy, in Emirates they have a lockdown on communications of all sorts, but this one seemed to have slipped them and they aren’t too happy about it, and the same goes for Saudi.

Now for the real interesting part, last year there was a little debacle with Etisalat trying to install spyware on their handsets through a Blackberry software update. That was really the Spyware product of SS8 which can monitor communications of Blackberry, but it was removed by RIM the manufacturer of Blackberry and people were pissed. Now here is the little details they fail to mention, SS8 develops products such as these but they have to take license proprietary software from RIM to use it. SS8 is only licensed to sell the software in the US, Canada, and the UK which they have to the governments, and they aren’t licensed to sell in any other country including the Middle East, that is why they were pissed about the Etisalat debacle in 2009. So I think the tactic of Saudi and UAE are trying to put pressure on RIM to allow SS8 to sell in the Middle East or the service will be shut down and they will lose a large amount of revenue. I don’t know if they do or don’t block the service in a few months but its going to be a hell of a blow to RIM’s income.

A guy who is just trying to enjoy life!

4 Comments

  1. It don’t care if they don’t censor or have no control or whatever. The bottom line is that if you want to sell a product in a country you have to follow their rules and regulations!

    Also,
    1. Buy ANY phone that has internet access
    2. Get IM program on phone
    3. ????
    4. Profit

    Really, BB is the only justification for getting unreliable, expensive, dumbphone Blackberry, and the funny thing is that since 2001 phones have been able to use an IM client. Ignorance has bagged Blackberry a whole bunch of sales.

  2. Strange tactics by our Gulf neighbors; but it’s a big decision that’s not going to be overturned any time soon. Must suck for businesses that rely on the service.

  3. I rely 100% on my BB… So much so that I’ve not bought an iPhone! I hope we don’t follow our neighbours.

  4. 3azeez

    So tell me, is it true that Kuwait government (Ministry of Communications?) is currently routing all internet communications to them in such a way they’re caching all our internet use including emails especially from Google and MS Live?

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