UAE prepares for Blackberry ban

UAE set to suspend Blackberry service from October 11

The UAE’s telecoms regulator has announced that BlackBerry services in the country will be suspended from 11 October this year.

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) said that the suspension was due to the failure of ongoing attempts since 2007 to bring BlackBerry services in the country in line with local regulations.

"With no solution available and in the public interest, in order to affect resolution of this issue, as of October 11, 2010, Blackberry Messenger, Blackberry Email and Blackberry Web-browsing services will be suspended until an acceptable solution can be developed and applied," said TRA director general Mohamed Al Ghanim.

"The TRA notes that Blackberry appears to be compliant in similar regulatory environments of other countries, which makes non-compliance in the UAE both disappointing and of great concern."

BlackBerry devices, introduced in the UAE in 2006, allow users to send messages that can’t be monitored as allowed for under the country’s 2007 Safety, Emergency and National Security rules, the regulator said last week.

Although such communications should fall under the remit of that law, technical encryption allowed them to avoid monitoring, it said Sunday.

Telcos Etisalat and du were informed of the TRA’s decision on Sunday. They were also instructed to ensure minimal consumer disruption in the provision of alternative services.

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