RIM Shares Higher On UAE BlackBerry Deal

Officials in Abu Dhabi have reached an accord with Research In Motion that will allow the messaging service to continue past Monday's deadline.

Paul McDougall

October 8, 2010

1 Min Read
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Research In Motion and officials in the United Arab Emirates have reached a deal that ends the UAE's threat to terminate BlackBerry messaging in the country as of Monday.

RIM shares were up 1%, to $48.40, in Friday pre-market trading on the news.

"The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has confirmed that BlackBerry services are now compliant with the UAE's telecommunications regulatory framework," said UAE state news agency WAM on Friday.

"Therefore all BlackBerry services in the UAE will continue to operate as normal and no suspension of service will occur on October 11, 2010," WAM reported.

In a scenario that's also played out in a number of other emerging markets where terrorism is a threat, RIM and UAE officials have been at odds over BlackBerry security issues. Abu Dhabi wanted the means to monitor encrypted BlackBerry messages in case they were being used to convey plans for terror attacks.

RIM has argued that it does not possess technical means that would allow national governments to monitor traffic across its BlackBerry services. WAM did not provide details on the settlement.

Officials in a number of other countries, including Saudi Arabia and India, have also threatened to cut off BlackBerry service in their jurisdictions over security concerns. RIM is continuing to work with those governments, which also have imposed, and then lifted, deadlines that would have shut down BlackBerry messaging traffic.

RIM, which manages its own messaging traffic, faces a dilemma when it comes to meeting national governments' security demands.

The BlackBerry's strong encryption tools have made it the device of choice for high-end, international business users. But, with mounting competition from Apple, Google, and others, RIM can ill afford to alienate authorities that represent some of the world's hottest growth markets.

About the Author(s)

Paul McDougall

Editor At Large, InformationWeek

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