A United Arab Emirates mobile carrier announced on Wednesday that it would offer BlackBerry users alternative services after the country’s authorities said key features on the network would be banned.
The plan by the carrier, du, did not include information for foreign subscribers, including business executives, who would try to roam in the UAE, and a customer service representative did not offer further information.
The UAE said this week it would ban as of October 11 most main BlackBerry services, including messaging, Web browsing, E-mail and social networking, owing to “security concerns.” Saudi Arabia followed suit and said it too would ban features on the network as of this Friday, while other countries like Kuwait and Egypt warned they were considering taking such measures.
Mobile company du said it would offer BlackBerry customers 1,000 free SMSs and more international data handling on a standard network, in light of the UAE authorities’ decision.
Countries have said the method used by Research in Motion (RIM), the maker of the smart phone, to transfer data offshore and under tight encryption could be a national security threat, though it has been a draw for customers.
Canadian RIM, which has some 46 million users worldwide, issued a statement reassuring customers that it would “not compromise the integrity and security of the Blackberry.”