Etisalat, Du halt new BlackBerry service

12 Dec 2013

The United Arab Emirates’ two telecoms operators Etisalat and Du have blocked BlackBerry’s new BBM Channels social media service, as it does not comply with guidelines from the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA). ‘In accordance with the internet management policy issued by the TRA to regulate internet content that is not in line with moral, social and cultural values that the UAE stands for, the BBM Channel application is unavailable to Du customers until further notice,’ The National quotes a statement from Du as saying, while Etisalat said on Twitter that it also no longer supported the service. BBM Channels was launched by Research In Motion (RIM) last month as an extension of its instant messaging service, enabling BlackBerry device users to engage in conversations with other people, brands and communities.

TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that an agreement between RIM and the TRA saw the regulator abandon a plan to suspend BlackBerry’s Messenger, e-mail and web-browsing services in October 2010, while in December 2012 Etisalat and Du blocked the ‘BlackBerry Messenger Voice’ service in an attempt to mitigate the negative effect on traditional revenue streams from free messaging and voice applications.