BlackBerry services to be suspended for four hours

Etisalat has informed customers that Blackberry internet service-related applications will be affected by routine maintenance.

The UAE is to suspend BlackBerry services for four hours early on Sunday for routine maintenance by the handset's Canadian manufacturers Research in Motion (RIM).

The UAE's largest telecommunications company Etisalat has advised its BlackBerry customers by text message that all internet service-related applications may be affected from 6am until 10am.

It is understood that the maintenance will extend to other countries and is not related to negotiations between RIM and the UAE Government, which threatened to suspend BlackBerry services last month.

The UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority announced a planned suspension of some BlackBerry services from October 11, citing security reasons, but a last-minute deal was reached after RIM complied with the authority's regulations allowing access to encrypted messages.