BlackBerry service suspension withdrawn

The TRA has announced that the planned suspension of BlackBerry services in the UAE, including email and web browsing, from October 10 will not now take place

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The BlackBerry service in the UAE, due to be suspended in two days' time, is to continue as normal, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has announced.

In a statement from WAM, the Government news agency, the TRA said that BlackBerry services are now compliant with the UAE's telecommunications regulatory framework. The UAE authorities had sought the ability to decode the encrypted messages that BlackBerry users send to one another. Other countries, including India and Saudi Arabia, have sought similar access.

"Therefore", the TRA affirmed today in a statement: "all Blackberry services in the UAE will continue to operate as normal and no suspension of service will occur on October 11".

The TRA also acknowledged "the positive engagement and collaboration of Research In Motion" (RIM, the Canadian owner of BlackBerry) "in reaching this regulatory compliant outcome".

In August the TRA announced it had had taken the decision to suspend certain BlackBerry services, citing security reasons.

BlackBerry e-mail, BlackBerry web browsing, social networking and instant messaging on BlackBerry devices supported as part of the BlackBerry service were expected to be suspended in the UAE on October 10.

In a statement after the TRA announcement, the telecoms provider Etisalat, which claims to provide services to 80 per cent of BlackBerry users in the Emirates, said: "Our focus has always been to ensure continuity of service for our customers. With the TRA’s notification of uninterrupted Blackberry services in the UAE, we are pleased to confirm that all Blackberry services will continue to operate as normal.

"In light of the TRA decision, the alternative mobility packages announced by Etisalat in August, for its existing BlackBerry customers, are no longer applicable."

Etisalat also announced that it will be launching two new BlackBerry devices, the Torch and the New Curve.

A statement from Du welcomed the BlackBerry announcement.

"Since the TRA's August 1 announcement regarding the possible suspension of certain Blackberry services, our focus has always been to ensure continuity of service for our customers", said Du.

Both Etisalat and du received notification from the TRA that BlackBerry services would not be interrupted, and sent messages to their users.