[gulf news] The UAE's two telecom operators Emirates Telecommunication Corporation (etisalat) and Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (du) will develop "alternative" products and service for BlackBerry users as the country's regulator suspends current services on the device.
The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) on Sunday announced its decision to suspend BlackBerry services by October 11 and instructed operators to "ensure minimal consumer disruption in the provision of alternative services"
Etisalat spokesperson Ahmad Bin Ali told Gulf News that there would be a lot of alternative services, but did not provide any clarification. "Alternatives and all information will be announced hopefully this week, as we just received the announcement from TRA today," Ali said on Sunday.
A TRA spokesperson said that all operators — etisalat, du and Research In Motion (RIM), the Canadian maker of BlackBerry — are working to find a service that falls under the TRA regulation and the UAE law. The regulator has earlier said that due to the level of security on the devices and their inaccessibility to third-parties, poses a national security threat. It has been in talks with RIM to work around the issue, but the manufacturer has not said it would make any changes for the UAE.
It declined to comment on the suspension order when contacted by Gulf News.
"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," TRA Director General Mohammad Al Ganem said in a statement.
BlackBerry suspension: Alternative services to be created