RIM is going through troubled time in several countries with all of them wanting access to communication over their BlackBerry devices. RIM and the Indian government have had quite a few talks to avoid a blanket ban of the services. While there seems to be some compromise reached, an Indian company is trying to cash in on the controversy. Data Infosys Limited, an ISP and email service provider from Rajasthan, India has launched a competitor to RIM’s BlackBerry services called “Bharat Berry”.
Bharat Berry offers Push email, OTA sync with Outlook and is compliant with the Indian law which is their USP. Data Infosys runs an email service on their servers in India which allows them to be within the Indian law and offer these services. The service has two subscription tiers:
- Rs. 50 per month for Calendar and Contacts sync
- Rs. 100 per month for push email, calendar and contacts sync
The service was officially launched by Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on the 29th of October. At launch company founder Ajay Data (this has to be coolest name for a tech company CEO) talked about the features of the service comparing them to BlackBerry sand said, "The Bharat Berry service provides more advanced push mail on BlackBerry handsets and ensures that the user remains connected to email, calendar and contacts through the servers hosted in India. It also provides over-the-air (OTA) synchronisation of calendar and contacts to outlook, so there will be no need to take backup of attach with the computer. Unchecked terrorist activities are the major concern of security agencies, as it can escape detection by using BlackBerry's coded services. We are providing a concrete solution to the problem that has left lakhs of BlackBerry phone users in limbo. The issue that the online usage of BlackBerry phones cannot be monitored by the government will be fully-solved with our service 'Bharat Berry', a country made compliant product designed keeping in consideration with all necessary Indian laws and works with all BlackBerry and other phones."
Bharat Berry allows online access to the calendar items and contacts. The service can be used on existing BlackBerry handsets, whether there will be buyers for the service remains to be seen. BlackBerry has a huge user base and has proven reliable, the policy troubles it has run into might not be lasting.