Research in Motion sets up dedicated Mideast service

Posted by Mark Raby

After facing a huge threat that the United Arab Emirates would completely suspend service to some Blackberry services, the manufacturer of Blackberry handsets has set up a special service agreement with the area.

RIM did not give any details exactly about what's different in its new service to the Middle East, but it has pleased the local officials with its ability to comply with their wiretap standards.

RIM came under fire from the local government earlier because it was unwilling to turn over private data about Blackberry Messenger messages sent in the UAE. Local law there requires that government officials be able to tap into these kinds of wireless communications.

There are 500,000 Blackberry customers in the UAE and ultimately the threat was dropped. But that was only on the premise that RIM would work with the government to create a special channel of service for the region.

That's what happened this week.

"The enormous popularity of BlackBerry Messenger in the Middle East demonstrates the potential for new apps and services in the region," said RIM at a press conference. "We are excited to build on our success in the region and to deepen our commitment to delivering industry-leading products and services for consumers, businesses and government organizations."