The anticlimax to the BlackBerry debacle

By on October 12, 2010
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Much ado about nothing

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Last week was a tense one for Blackberry owners- they weren’t sure if their beloved mobile device will be functioning a week later or not. But signs from Tuesday onwards started pointing towards the positive- that BlackBerry services will continue uninterrupted.

First of all, the prices for BlackBerry devices in the grey market started rising- don’t know where these guys get their information from, but they were obviously on to something. On Wednesday, I called Etisalat for their Blackberry replacement packages but they said that these packages will only be offered IF the ban goes into effect. Then word started spreading on BBM on Thursday and finally, it was made official early Friday that services will continue without any disruptions.

Details of the decisions reached between RIM and TRA are still a bit sketchy. The only thing we know is what was posted on TRA’s website: “The TRA has confirmed that BlackBerry services are now compliant with the U.A.E.’s telecommunications regulatory framework.” Obviously, this means that services prior to the announcement were NOT compliant with the framework. From that, one would deduct that RIM has allowed some kind of access to BlackBerry data to the U.A.E. government- possibly through an encryption key.

Whatever the details are, leaving decisions to the last minute was not necessarily the right way to go. Although I personally don’t personally know anyone who had already sold their Blackberry device, I’m sure that some people must have- at least since there was no official news until the 8th of October- or three days before the ban was supposed to go into effect.

Ideally, RIM and TRA should have kept October 1st as the internal deadline to reach an agreement- or not. This would’ve allowed current Blackberry owners at least ten days to evaluate their next move.


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