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Blackberry App World launched even though TRA limits access

Blackberry App World launched even though TRA limits access

While the TRA imposed a BB restriction effective this month, RIM just launched the UAE’s very own BlackBerry App World. Some consistency here, please?

May 8, 2011 5:25 by

Just eight days after TRA was supposedly going to limit Blackberry access come a new twist in the RIM and TRA saga. Yes, on May 8 RIM announced that the BlackBerry App World service has launched in the UAE. The service, which is available Kuwait, Qatar, Jordan, Bahrain and Lebanon, is an on-device app store which allows users to download BlackBerry specific smartphones.

Mohammed Al Ghanim, Director General of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) of the UAE, said: “This is a great day for the Middle East application developer community. The TRA has a strategy to encourage and support developers in the UAE and with the launch of RIM’s BlackBerry App World, we are eager to work with BlackBerry developers to provide the appropriate environment and assist them with accessing the required tools to create these applications. We will encourage the UAE universities to develop applications on BlackBerry devices”.

It is just so hard to keep up with the TRA-RIM yarn these days, but Kipp has to admit those were pretty interesting comments from the TRA chief there, especially considering the TRA’s most recent decision to allow only business which have 20 or more mobile subscriptions to use high-security data service. This in effect meant that companies with fewer than 20 mobile subscriptions would have had their BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) accounts terminated by end of April.

As we remarked earlier, the game of chicken between the TRA and RIM is getting harder and harder to predict. Why? Because BlackBerry is very popular in the UAE. In fact the TRA’s most recent survey found the brand to be the smartphone of choice in the country, primarily because of its messenger service (BBM).

Considering just how popular the phone is, the TRA’s constant and rather imposing restrictions on RIM services is just confusing. But not everyone is as cynical as we are about the matter.

When we asked our readers if they thought the TRA’s BlackBerry restrictions were the last we would see in the UAE, a chunky 31 percent agreed with the statement, “Not Really, but I am not selling my BlackBerry anytime.”

And while 19 percent were skeptical of any kind of progress between the two, 12 percent said they believed RIM and TRA are trying to work things out. Funnily enough, the majority of Kipp’s facetious readers (38 percent) agreed with the statement: “It doesn’t concern me. I still use a Nokia 3310.”

But jokes aside, the TRA’s serial issues with RIM need to be resolved. Sure launching the UAE’s first BlackBerry App World service might just be a step in the right direction, but we hardly think it’ll mean the TRA won’t continue to cook up restrictions or bans on BB services in the near future.

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