updated 12:25 pm EDT, Fri March 14, 2008
India not banning RIM
RIM's BlackBerry smartphone will not to be banned in India, said the country's telecommunications secretary in an interview Friday. Earlier reports of blocking the BlackBerry from the country involved the government's concern over national security as RIM's proprietary encoded transmissions could not be monitored. Indian telecommunications companies are willing to co-operate with the government and keep logs of messages sent to or from BlackBerry phones for a certain period of time, if that would appease government security agencies' concerns.
Behura assured the government is working out the issues with four mobile service providers that carry the BlackBerry in India as well as Canada's own Research In Motion, maker of the phone, as per The Wall Street Journal.
"There is no question of banning at this point," said Siddhartha Behura, India's telecoms secretary, putting to rest earlier reports indicating otherwise. Telecoms Minister Andimuthu Raja further assured journalists, saying talks with all involved are in progress, and expressing his own belief in the resolution of the issues.
The BlackBerry is distributed in India by Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications, BPL Mobile and Vodafone Essar, representatives of which are slated to meet with department of telecoms officials Friday evening to further resolve the issue. In January, India had over 240 million mobile phone subscribers, and is expected to be in the top-five biggest markets for business mobile devices such as the BlackBerry within a decade.
RIM operates in 130 countries with over 12 million subscribers as of December 1 of last year.