ABU DHABI, UAE -- The following information was released by the office of the Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE):
The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) on Saturday confirmed in a statement the continuation of all BlackBerry services in the UAE to both individuals and to business customers.
It added that any confusion to TRA regulations would be clarified by the TRA with the operators concerned this week.
The "confusion" mostly refers to accessing the highly secure services offered by BlackBerry. In a statement released to media and its two operators, etisalat and du, TRA said only businesses with 20 or more subscriptions will be allowed to use high security accounts on the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES), which allows for services such as highly secure corporate e-mail.
Smaller businesses have the option of buying additional BES accounts, which could be quite a financial burden. Both individual users and small companies will still be able to use the ordinary, less secure BlackBerry Internet and e-mail services.
BES is the computer where customers receive highly secure e-mails encrypted by the Canadian-based BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM), from a BlackBerry device.
Last year, the TRA had threatened to suspend BlackBerry Messenger, e-mail and Web browser services unless RIM worked out a way to locate its encrypted computer servers in the UAE.
No TRA spokesperson was available to comment on why the restrictions are now being imposed. According to media reports, they will come into effect on May 1. Etisalat is already sending out e-mails to its corporate customers regarding the new restrictions and offering sales of extra BES lines.